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NEW ORLEANS — One of the best therapies for some types of lymphoma and leukemia has been a drug called ibrutinib, made by AbbVie. When it hit the market in 2013, the drug revolutionized the treatment of these cancers and represented a major step forward from chemotherapy and some other drugs at the time.

But research presented at the American Society of Hematology meeting in New Orleans suggested that a second-generation drug called zanubrutinib from BeiGene is about to unseat ibrutinib as “the king on the block” for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, said Catherine Diefenbach, medical director of the lymphoma program at the NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center.

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