Salem Radio Network News Saturday, June 10, 2023


Novartis says Kisqali breast cancer drug cuts risk of recurrence

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Novartis’s Kisqali breast cancer drug cut the risk of recurrence in women that were diagnosed at an early stage of the disease in a pivotal trial, a potential boost for the drugmaker’s growth prospects.

The Swiss drugmaker’s shares jumped 5% at the open on Monday after it said a panel of trial supervisors recommended stopping the trial early because an interim analysis had shown a clear benefit.

The late-stage trial testing the drug in a type of cancer that grows in response to hormones showed that Kisqali significantly reduced the risk of disease recurrence when used with standard endocrine therapy, compared to endocrine therapy alone, the Swiss company added.

Approved to treat hormone-driven breast cancer that has spread to other body parts, Kisqali was also being tested to demonstrate a benefit at an earlier stage when the tumour can still be surgically removed, seen as a much larger market.

Rival drug Verzenio by Eli Lilly is already approved for early stage breast cancer that grows in response to hormones, for women at high risk of recurrence after surgery.

Novartis aims to spin off its generic drugs unit Sandoz in the second half of the year, making the company more reliant on its drug development fortunes.

Kisqali is one of two new drugs that play a particularly important role for the group’s future sales growth. The other is iptacopan, which is being trialled against a rare genetic blood disorder, possibly challenging AstraZeneca’s drugs Soliris and Ultomiris.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger, Editing by Friederike Heine)


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