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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:39 AM

Pfizer Experimental Drug Slows Late-Stage Breast Cancer


Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s experimental breast cancer drug stopped progression of an incurable form of the disease for more than two years in a study, a dramatic delay for those with the second-deadliest cancer in women.

Patients given PD 0332991 in addition to Novartis (NOVN) AG’s Femara had no tumor progression for a median of 26.1 months in the study presented today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, compared with 7.5 months of progression-free survival in those given Femara alone. Results were from the second of three stages of tests needed for regulatory approval.

The medicine is the first in a new class of agents that works by blocking a protein critical in the cancer cell cycle, said lead researcher Richard Finn. It’s also among the most promising in New York-based Pfizer’s drug development pipeline, with the potential for generating $5 billion in annual sales for breast and other tumor types, Andrew Baum, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. in London, wrote in a Nov. 29 note to investors.

“This magnitude of benefit is probably one of the largest with any new agent in breast cancer, or perhaps any solid tumor,” Finn, an associate professor of medicine at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview. “It’s dramatic to see this level of benefit with a new agent.”

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