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Home Industry News Merck KGaA receives EMEA approval for Erbitux for head and neck Cancer

Merck KGaA receives EMEA approval for Erbitux for head and neck Cancer

24th February 2006

An indication for Erbitux to be used in the treatment of head and neck cancer has been approved by the European medicines authority, the EMEA.

The drug, manufactured by Merck KGaA, is currently licensed for metastatic colorectal cancer and had been first authorised for use in Switzerland during 2003, later approving the extended indication at the end of the 2005.

Erbitux inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor, which the company says is an important factor in tumour cell growth. Merck KGaA claims that the drug slows down tumour repair, spread, invasion and growth, when used with a chemotherapy treatment.

Elmar Schnee of Merck KGaA said: “This is encouraging news for patients who present to their physician for the first time with locally advanced head and neck cancer, as five-year survival rates have traditionally remained poor at around only 33 per cent.”

He claimed that the drug “offers the potential for improved control and prolonged survival in this challenging disease,” and added that the company wants to use the drug to treat other forms of cancer.

Over 100,000 Europeans are diagnosed with head and neck cancer every year.

track© Adfero Ltd

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