US approves cancer drug

Novartis chairman, Daniel Vasella, (left) was joined by doctors at a press briefing on Glivec last summer Keystone Archive

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light for Novartis to sell its new cancer drug, Glivec.

This content was published on February 1, 2002 - 23:00

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant announced from its offices in Basel that Glivec, which treats "gastrointestinal stromal tumors" (GIST), could now be placed on the market.

Novartis said that the drug offers patients an alternative to surgery for what is reportedly the most common malignant form of sarcoma that arises in the gastrointestinal tract.

The FDA approved Glivec on 10 May 2001 for its initial indication as a treatment for a specific type of leukemia.

"Glivec has already made a major difference in the lives of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and we're extremely gratified to now make this drug available to patients with GIST," said Dr Daniel Vasella, chairman and CEO of Novartis.

swissinfo with agencies

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