Novartis’s Alpelisib Treats Advanced Breast Cancer

August 24, 2018  Source: Reuters 146

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Finding the ultimate treatment for breast cancer is still a dream for all the pharma companies worldwide. At present, only hormonal therapy, Pfizer’s Ibrance, Eli Lilly’s Verzenio and Novartis’s Kisqali are available for breast cancer treatment.

Recently, a full-fledged attempt by Novartis to find the breast cancer-fighting drug named BYL719 also called as alpelisib, gained remarkable success. Compared to other prevalent drugs, alpelisib combined with hormonal therapy can treat advanced breast cancer by slowing down the disease progression and improving the survival rate in addition to higher tolerability. This drug targets the signaling molecule named phosphoinositide 3-kinase, or PI13K, which aids in the development of tumor growth.

Samit Hirawat, the head of Novartis Oncology Global Drug Development, said “We are encouraged by the results observed in the SOLAR-1 study and look forward to submitting the data to an upcoming medical congress and starting discussions with health authorities worldwide.”

Before Novartis, other pharma companies like Roche also tried its best but failed in its trial. Roche’s drug named Taselisib proved unsuccessful against breast cancer as its mediocre did not justify the side effects, due to which patients abandoned this treatment in early stage itself.

Similarly, Novartis transferred the rights of its similar drug named buparlisib to Adlai Nortye Biopharma in China, since it caused dangerous effects when combined with hormonal therapy.

Bruno Bulic, an analyst at Baader Helvea, said “We estimate alpelisib peak sales potential at $1.9 billion, and lift our probability of success to 80 percent.” Even the buy rate of Novartis buy rate in market rose 0.4 percent in early trading.

By Ddu
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