The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday that venetoclax was approved for prescription outside of human trials for patients with chronic lymphotic leukemia (CLL).
Venetoclax, which overwhelms the BCL-2 protein that is vital to cancer cell survival, was developed in Melbourne in the 1980s after researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) discovered the importance of BCL-2.
WEHI's head of clinical translation, Professor Andrew Roberts, said that 80 of 116 participants in a human trial of the drug in Melbourne have displayed a positive response.
"Most of the patients had failed to be controlled by all the other treatments we had available. This was a last line option for them," Roberts told News Limited on Tuesday.