Pfizer's new lung cancer drug has been placed on a shortened approval schedule by the US Food and Drug Administration following the results of a new study which showed that nearly two thirds of those who took the drug were alive after two years.
In a note to Reuters, Morningstar analyst Damien Conover has predicted that the drug, known as Crizotinib, will reach peak annual sales of $2.5 billion for Pfizer. The company has applied for approval for the drug both in the US and in Japan and the FDA could give the clearance by the end of this year.
Pfizer will be hoping that the shortened schedule will work to its advantage with crizotinib viewed as the most important drug to be launched by the company in the near future. The drug was given to 82 lung cancer patients and around 77 percent were alive after one year while 64 percent were alive at the end of the second year.
Commenting on the study, lead researcher Alice Shaw said, "We already know that crizotinib has impressive activity in terms of inducing responses. This data suggests that crizotinib may prolong overall survival for these patients who have ALK in their lung tumors and may improve the natural history of disease."