GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s Votrient medicine, approved for kidney cancer, delayed relapse of advanced ovarian cancer by an average 5.6 months following initial treatment with chemotherapy.
Disease progression was delayed for a median of 17.9 months among patients taking Votrient, compared with 12.3 months among those on placebo, according to the study of 940 patients with advanced ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer. The study, funded by Glaxo, was presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Chicago.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in developed countries, and 70 percent of patients at the advanced stage relapse even after successful treatment with surgery and chemotherapy. Votrient, also known as pazopanib, was approved for use in the U.S. in 2009 for advanced kidney cancer.
“Our findings show that we finally have a drug that can maintain control over ovarian cancer growth,” lead study author Andreas du Bois, professor of gynecologic oncology at Kliniken Essen Mitte in Essen, Germany, said in a statement. “If pazopanib is approved for ovarian cancer, many patients will experience longer disease-free and chemotherapy-free periods.”
Glaxo, based in London, plans to seek approval of Votrient for ovarian cancer later this year in the U.S. and Europe, according to spokeswoman Eleanor Bunch. The drug was given orphan designation on May 6 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Votrient may reach annual sales of $779 million by 2016 from $441 million this year, according to the average of nine analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
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