Swiss drugmaker Novartis has received breakthrough therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an experimental treatment for advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer, the company said on Wednesday.
The therapy attaches a radioactive isotope, lutetium-177, with a half-life of less than seven days, to a small molecule drug, PSMA-617, that binds to an antigen expressed in large amounts by prostate cancer cells.
Novartis, which acquired the therapy with its $2.1 billion purchase of Endocyte three years ago, has a growing portfolio of radioligand medicines that includes already approved cancer therapy Lutathera.
Prostate cancer can often be treated via surgery, radiation therapy or through hormone therapy that stops production of tumor-driving testosterone.
Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, however, has failed to respond to such hormone treatment, making it difficult to treat - and a potentially lucrative market.
Novartis, Research, U.S . Food, Drug Administration, FDA
Cambridge , Massachusetts, Swiss, U.S