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Targeted Cancer Therapies Boost U.S. Approvals to 15-Year High

U.S. drug approvals in 2012 reached their highest level in 15 years, led by 11 new cancer therapies, including Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Iclusig and Pfizer Inc.’s Bosulif, both aimed at forms of leukemia.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared 39 novel medicines in 2012, nine more than a year earlier, agency data show. Among the non-cancer products were Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Belviq, the first new prescription weight-loss pill in 13 years, and Johnson & Johnson’s Sirturo, aimed at patients with tuberculosis who are resistant to multiple-drug therapies.