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Breast cancer drug approved

20th March 2006

A new drug for the treatment of early breast cancer victims after surgery has been given approval in Germany.

Femara, manufactured by Novartis, was found in clinical trials to reduce the return of breast cancer by 19 per cent in postmenopausal women following surgery.

The drug is thought to be most effective in women whose breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and those who have undergone a course of chemotherapy.

"This new approval of Femara offers these women an effective treatment after surgery to help protect them from their cancer returning," said David Epstein, president and chief executive officer of Novartis.

The substance is believed to provide improved efficacy over rival drug tamoxifen.

"We are very pleased that just one year after the presentation of the first results, Femara is now available to women with breast cancer," said Professor Dr Beat, chairman of the study.

Approval of the drug is expected in other European countries in the near future.