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Faslodex launched in UK

Published on 19/05/04 at 08:03pm

The latest addition to AstraZeneca's oncology franchise, breast cancer drug Faslodex has been launched in the UK.

Licensed for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in post-menopausal women, whose tumours are fuelled by oestrogen, Faslodex is the first new hormonal drug since the introduction of the aromatase inhibitors.

The class, which includes AstraZeneca's Arimidex, Novartis' Femara and Pfizer's Aromasin are gaining widespread acceptance as effective second line treatments after women stop responding to tamoxifen.

AstraZeneca say Faslodex, a long-acting once monthly injection is associated with few side effects and will be welcomed by doctors and patients as a new treatment option.

Advanced breast cancer treatment currently centres around the use of treatments in sequence, beginning with standard treatment tamoxifen, discovered by AstraZeneca and also known as Nolvadex.

Professor Anthony Howell from the Christie Hospital in Manchester welcomed the launch, saying: "The beauty of Faslodex is that it is not only a new hormonal treatment, but it has a different mode of action, and overcomes the problem of resistance to tamoxifen. It means we will have something else to offer women when tamoxifen stops working."

Approval of Faslodex was based on trials involving over 800 women comparing it to Arimidex, which found it at least as effective and also very well tolerated. The drug has been available in the US for two years, and was granted approval across the EU in March this year.

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