Ixempra Approved for Breast Cancer

Targets protein that spurs growth of cancer cells

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- A new chemotherapy drug called Ixempra has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to treat women with advanced breast cancer who haven't responded to three other types of chemotherapy.

The drug, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., was also approved for use with the chemotherapy drug capecitabine (brand name Xeloda) for treatment of women with breast cancer that's spread to other parts of the body, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Ixempra was granted priority review status by the FDA. This status, which cuts four months off the standard 10-month drug review time, is given to products that are considered to be an advance over existing therapies on the market.

Ixempra, which belongs to a new class of drugs called epothilones, is designed to stop the growth of cancer cells. It does this by targeting a protein called tubulin that helps cells proliferate, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Bristol-Myers also is studying the use of Ixempra to treat earlier-stage breast cancer, as well as ovarian, prostate, renal, pancreatic and non small cell lung cancers.

More information

Learn more about this drug's history from the FDA.

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