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Pfizer Asks EU to Approve Kidney Cancer Drug

June 01, 2011
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The Associated Press reports that Pfizer Inc. has asked European Union regulators to approve its drug candidate axitinib as a treatment for kidney cancer. Pfizer wants approval to market axitinib as a treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma in patients who haven''t been helped by other therapies. Axitinib is taken by mouth and is designed to block receptors that influence tumor growth, blood vessel growth, and spread of cancers. It is one of Pfizer''s top drug candidates. In May, Pfizer said axitinib met its primary goal in a late-stage clinical trial, as patients who were treated with axitinib survived longer without disease progression than patients who were treated with Nexavar, an older cancer drug. The New York drugmaker said about 210,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with advanced renal cell carcinoma every year, and 102,000 people die of the disease. The company said 20 percent of patients survive at least five years. Pfizer plans to report more data from the trial at an upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. The company said it is working with other regulatory agencies on filings for approval of axitinib in other regions. It is also running other clinical trials of the drug in kidney cancer and liver cancer.

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