The United States Food and Drug Administration recently approved the pharmaceutical drug Afinitor to treat an uncommon pancreatic cancer that previously had limited treatment opportunities.
This occasion marks the first time in 30 years that a treatment for advanced neuroendocrine tumors (NET) in the pancreas has been approved in the United States.
A unanimous group of United States-based professionals voted to approve Afinitor’s use in the treatment of advanced neuroendocrine pancreatic tumors. This FDA approval mainly occurred because an Afinitor trial revealed that the drug slowed down pancreatic cancer by 65% when compared with participants that were taking a placebo.
More specifically, the drug decreased the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body; while neuroendocrine tumors are mainly located in the pancreas, they can also spread to the lungs and gastrointestinal tract.
Afinitor was previously approved for advanced kidney cancer, and for patients with tuberous sclerosis and benign brain tumors. Tuberous sclerosis is an infrequent genetic disorder that results in brain, eye, lung, liver and other organ tumors.
Additionally, Novartis has submitted an application for Everolimus to treat advanced NET related to lung and gastrointestinal cancers.
On May 4, 2011, stock in Novartis hit a one-year high.
Key Players - Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Leaders
- Novartis, Merck, Pfizer, Glaxo Smith Kline, AstraZeneca PLC, Eli Lilly
Key Statistics - Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Market (source: GlobalData)
- The international pancreatic cancer treatment market was valued at approximately $781 million in 2009; the cumulative year-to-year growth rate (CAGR) was close to 10% from 2001 to 2009.
- The worldwide pancreatic cancer treatment market will decline at a rate of nearly 4.5% per year for the next six years to total $582 million.
- A new pancreatic treatment called Sutent is expected to enter the pharmaceutical market in 2012; Analysts believe that the market would then increase CAGR to just over 7.5% between 2013-2017.