Novartis drug gets CHMP nod for new use

The Novartis drug everolimus looks to be racking up markets for its third brand name. Marketed as a treatment for kidney and pancreatic cancer under the name Afinitor and as an organ rejection drug under the brand Certican, everolimus just got a recommendation from European officials as a treatment for a type of benign brain tumor. For that indication, the name will be Votubia.

The recommendation from Europe's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use is expected to be ratified by the European Commission within a couple of months following similar nods from the FDA, as well as regulators in Switzerland, Brazil and several other countries, Reuters reports. It would cover patients with subependymal giant cell astrocytoma associated with tuberous sclerosis complex and would be the first drug approved in Europe for that use. The tumors typically are found in children and adolescents.

The next big decision on everolimus in Europe should come within a few months. Novartis has asked the EMA to approve the drug for advanced pancreatic cancer, its newest indication in the U.S. Previous sales estimates pegged everolimus peak revenues at $1.3 billion to $2 billion, with the higher number covering new indications such as liver cancer.

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