* Votrient approved for advanced renal cell carcinoma
* EU conditional approval follows FDA green light in Oct
(Adds sales forecast, background)
LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK.L) new kidney cancer drug Votrient won conditional approval from the European Commission, the company said on Tuesday, paving the way for its rollout across the European Union.
The move had been expected following a recommendation from the European Medicines Agency in February that the drug be cleared for use as a first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma and for patients who have received prior cytokine therapy for advanced disease.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Votrient in October 2009.
The decision to grant conditional approval in Europe means further evidence on the drug is still awaited. In the case of Votrient, the European Medicines Agency has said it wants to see a comparison with Pfizer’s (PFE.N) Sutent.
Votrient, also known by its chemical name pazopanib, is seen as a modest driver for Glaxo in the next few years, with global sales expected to reach $284 million in 2014, according to consensus forecasts from Thomson Reuters.
It will compete with a number of drugs for kidney cancer, including Pfizer’s Sutent and Torisel, Roche’s ROG.VX Avastin, Novartis’s NOVN.VX Afinitor, and Onyx Pharmaceuticals ONXX.O and Bayer’s (BAYGn.DE) Nexavar.
Some of them, like Votrient, target the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor to try to limit new blood vessels that can feed tumours. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Will Waterman)