Drugmaker Novartis (NVS) announced Wednesday that a development drug against non-small cell lung cancer had been effective in the treatment of patients.
The drug extended the lifespan of patients while others responded positively to the therapy.
The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The FDA has designated the drug as a “breakthrough therapy” — a designation that allows the drug to be quickly pushed through the market.
The Basel-based drugmaker’s LDK378′s in being deemed likely to work better than existing treatments.
Patients survived for an average of seven months after taking LDK378, and 58 percent of those treated with the drug responded, Novartis said. Novartis is currently conducting Phase II and Phase III trials of the treatment.
Novartis, which considers the treatment among the most promising in its pipeline, is facing a “patent cliff” – where a number of best-selling drugs lose market exclusivity.
Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer.
NVS is a group of companies specializing in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals.
NVS is up 15% from this time last year.