Pfizer breast cancer drug gets breakthrough label

April 10, 2013 by The Associated Press

Pfizer Inc. says its experimental pill for advanced, often deadly breast cancer has been designated as a breakthrough therapy by the Food and Drug Administration.

Pfizer shares jumped nearly 3 percent following the news.

The breakthrough designation is meant to speed up development and review of experimental treatments seen as big advances.

The drug, palbociclib (pal-boh-SEYE'-clib), is being evaluated as an initial treatment for a subgroup that includes about 60 percent of postmenopausal women whose breast cancer is locally advanced or has spread elsewhere in the body. Their tumors are fueled by the .

Pfizer is currently running a late-stage study of palbociclib, comparing its effects in combination with letrozole with the effects of letrozole alone. Letrozole, sold under the brand Femara, blocks production of estrogen.

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