GlaxoSmithKline seeks breast cancer drug approval


by Jacki Donaldson, The Cancer Blog, 21 oct 2006

The breast cancer drug Tykerb may be one of the future wonder drugs available for women left with limited options for treating advanced-stage disease.

Tykerb, manufactured by British-based GlaxoSmithKline PLC, is currently an experimental drug that delays growth of tumors nearly twice as long as standard chemotherapy in patients who no longer respond to Herceptin -- a targeted drug that significantly decreases chances of recurrence for women with HER2 positive breast cancer. Herceptin blocks the swift growth of an aggressive protein on the cell's surface while Tykerb does its work on the inside of the cell. Herceptin is given intravenously. Tykerb is given in pill form.

With each new report, Tykerb seems to gain momentum and promise. And this past week, new reports revealed new promise as Glaxo began seeking regulatory approval of the Tykerb pill in Europe.

Glaxo has filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration for approval of this drug and is preparing to market the drug for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in women. Glaxo hopes to launch Tykerb -- also known as lapatinib ditosylate -- next year.