January 28, 2016 / 8:25 PM / 2 years ago

FDA approves Eisai's drug Halaven for type of soft tissue cancer

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Eisai Co Ltd's drug derived from sea sponge for a rare type of soft tissue cancer.

The drug, Halaven, was approved for use in patients who have undergone chemotherapy with drugs derived from a type of bacteria, the FDA said on Thursday.

Halaven, derived from a marine sponge called Halichondria okadai, was approved in 2010 for treating advanced breast cancer.

Liposarcoma affects fat cells in soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerves, and the tumor cannot be removed through surgery.

In a late-stage study, patients receiving Halaven had survival rate of 15.6 months compared with 8.4 months for those given chemotherapy drug, dacarbazine.

(Corrects paragraph 1 in Jan. 28 story to drop words "which has no approved treatment so far")

Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey

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