The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted marketing approval to pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline for its breast cancer pill Tykerb.
It has been claimed that Tykerb is far more potent in combating advanced stages of breast cancer than the drugs currently available for the purpose.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. According to statistics, about a million new cases are expected to occur this year itself.
Analysts reckon Tykerb could be generating 1 billion US dollars in sales by 2010. By then, it is likely to be approved for wider breast cancer indications, and other cancer types such as head and neck and renal. Further trials are underway.
Tykerb seeks to specifically target cancer-causing proteins and more effective than other new generation drugs of the genre like Herceptin.
Experts note that Herceptin has been found to have a lot of limitations, some cancers become resistant to it even. Also while Herceptin is injectible Tykerb is a pill.
Even more important, it has no side-effects, of the cardiovascular type seen in other drugs, according to Dr.K.Geeta, a surgeon attached to the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, New Delhi.
However, industry sources warn that it would be prohibitively expensive and would require governmental intervention to make it affordable for the average Indian.