HK gives nod to Celgene's Abraxane for late-stage pancreatic cancer

Hong Kong's Department of Health has approved Celgene's ($CELG) Abraxane as a new treatment option for late-stage pancreatic cancer, following an international Phase III clinical trial, one of the largest ever conducted in metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Abraxane is indicated for use in combination with gemcitabine, another chemotherapy drug, as first-line treatment for patients with late-stage (metastatic) pancreatic cancer, making it the first approved treatment for this aggressive disease in nearly 8 years, the company said in a press release.

Earlier this year, the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness gatekeeper the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) once again shot down the drug as an add-on to Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Gemzar in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, saying that the med's high cost does not outweigh the benefits.

Hong Kong represents a potential treatment point for patients from mainland China.

- here's the Celgene website