Teva has launched Lonquex (lipegfilgrastim) throughout the UK giving cancer patients a new treatment option to help address chemotherapy-induced low white blood cell count, which can result in bacterial infections and compromise health.

Lonquex was approved in Europe last year for reducing the duration of neutropenia (low levels of white blood cells called neutrophils) and the incidence of febrile neutropenia in adult patients treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy for malignancy (with the exception of chronic myeloid leukaemia and myelodysplastic syndromes).

The drug is a glycopegylated form of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), a cytokine that regulates the production and release of functional neutrophils from the bone marrow.

In safety and efficacy studies, Lonquex was shown to be non-inferior to Amgen's blockbuster Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) regarding the duration of severe neutropenia, and comparable to its rival with regard to the incidence of severe neutropenia and febrile neutropenia.

Teva has already rolled out the drug in several European markets, including Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland.