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IBRUTINIB

Ibrutinib (Imbruvica) is a small molecule drug that binds permanently to a protein, Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), that is important in B cells; the drug is used to treat B cell cancers like mantle cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Ibrutinib was created by scientists at Celera Genomics as a tool compound for studying BTK function, then developed by Pharmacyclics up to Phase II, then partnered with Johnson & Johnson. Pharmacyclics was acquired by AbbVie in May 2015, and Abbvie projected global sales of US$1 billion in 2016 and $5 billion in 2020.