LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - An experimental drug from Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG NOVN.VX has been granted priority review in the United States as a treatment for advanced kidney cancer.
Novartis said on Tuesday that RAD001 or everolimus, which it plans to sell under the brand name Afinitor, had been accepted for fast review given the medicine’s potential to help patients who fail to respond to standard therapy.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration priority review status accelerates the standard review timing from 10 to six months.
Clinical trial results released earlier this year showed that after failure of standard treatment in patients with advanced kidney cancer, RAD001 more than doubled time without tumour growth and reduced the risk of disease progression by 70 percent.
Kidney cancer will be diagnosed in some 55,000 people in the United States this year and will kill more than 13,000, according to projections from the American Cancer Society.
The new drug works by blocking a protein known as mTOR and disrupting the growth, division and metabolism of cancer cells.
The once-a-day pill is also being tested in other cancers including lymphoma and neuroendocrine tumours. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Holmes)