Pancreatic cancer is one of the nastiest kinds and most difficult to treat; the EMA has granted marketing authorization to Onivyde in the fight against it.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of death in Europe, and it represents a dramatically underserved need. Metastatic adenocarcinoma is almost always fatal, as it cannot be removed surgically to slow the progression; the median 5-year survival rate is about 5%. The best and most expensive way to survive longer, as Steve Jobs did, is to undergo a pancreatic transplant.
Patients diagnosed with the metastatic adenocarcinoma variant of pancreatic cancer will probably undergo chemotherapy based on the nuceloside analogue, gemcitabine. This is the standard first-line treatment of locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
The European Commission has granted Marketing Authorization to Onivyde from Shire for the treatment of metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. It is meant to be used in combination with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin in adult patients whose cancer has progressed despite gemcitabine-based therapy.
While this might seem like a narrow niche,