Generic Name: acalabrutinib

Pronunciation: N/A

Abbreviation: N/A

Other Market Name: N/A

Drug Class: Targeted Therapy Medications

Company: AstraZeneca

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: No

Experimental Code: N/A

Drug Indication

Calquence is a BTK kinase inhibitor approved for mantle cell lymphoma and as a first-line or subsequent treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL).

General Info

Calquence inhibits Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), which plays a role in maturation of B cell, which grow out of control or do not function normally in people with leukemia and lymphoma.

Calquence received accelerated approval for mantle cell lymphoma based on promising response rates in clinical trials. Approval for CLL and SLL was based on findings from the ELEVATE-TN trial, which enrolled people with previously untreated CLL, and the ASCEND study, which enrolled participants with relapsed or refractory (nonresponsive) CLL. Both studies showed that those randomly assigned to receive Calquence had longer progression-free survival—meaning they were still alive and their cancer did not worsen—compared with those who received standard therapies.


Dosing Info:

Calgence is taken as a capsule twice daily, with or without food.

Side Effects

Common side effects include headache, diarrhea and muscle pain. Calquence can cause a decrease in red blood cells (anemia), which can lead to fatigue, white blood cells (neutropenia), which can lead to infections and platelets (thrombocytopenia), which can lead to easy bleeding. Less common but more serious adverse events may include severe blood cell depletion, heavy bleeding, opportunistic infections, heart rhythm abnormalities and an increased risk of developing other cancers. Calquence may cause fetal harm if used during pregnancy.

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Last Reviewed: November 21, 2019