Drug for lung cancer with genetic mutation gains EU approval

8 May 2015

A new treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer received approval by European health regulators. The drug, marketed by Novartis, is intended to treat patients with a specific genetic mutation (ALK).

Zykadia, or ceritinib, belongs to a new class of medicines known as ALK inhibitors. It was approved in April 2014 in the United States.

The European health regulators had adopted a positive opinion for Zykadia in February 2015.


Treatment aiming a rare mutation

It is designed for use in non-small cell lung cancer patients who have previously been treated with Pfizer's Xalkori, another ALK inhibitor.

Between 2% and 7% of non-small cell lung cancer patients have the specific mutation of the ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) protein for which such treatment is targeted. They are often non smokers.


Source: Reuters
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