Novartis says lung cancer patients respond to drug in study
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[March 27, 2014]
— Novartis said late on
Wednesday that a majority of patients given a development drug
against non-small cell lung cancer had responded to the treatment,
according to study results published in the New England Journal of
The Basel-based drugmaker's LDK378 has been declared
a "breakthrough therapy", a designation created by the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration in 2012 to help speed drugs to market that treat
serious or life-threatening conditions and are deemed likely to work
better than existing treatments.
Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer,
and sufferers tend to be nonsmokers and younger than other lung
Patients survived for an average of seven months after taking
LDK378, and 58 percent of those treated with the drug responded,
Novartis said. Novartis is currently conducting Phase II and Phase
III trials of the treatment.
The company, which said in January that it had filed for regulatory
approval of the drug, said the data formed the basis for its
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Novartis, which considers the treatment among the most promising in
its pipeline, is facing a "patent cliff" — where a number of
best-selling drugs lose market exclusivity.
The company is pinning its hopes on what it hopes will be
'blockbuster' treatments for cancer, heart failure and lung disease.
(Reporting By Katharina Bart; editing by Kevin Liffey)
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