Los Angeles, CA – The CEO of PUMA Biotechnology announced Tuesday that their drug neratinib has the ability to reduce the incidence of breast cancer reoccurrence by 33%.
The two year Clinical Trial involved 2,821 women diagnosed with early stage HER-2 Positive breast cancer and who had their cancerous tissues removed via surgery. Some of the women received neratinib as adjunctive treatment to Herceptin (trastuzumab) while others were put in a Herceptin-placebo regimen.
Herceptin (trastuzumab) is a drug that is prescribed specifically for women with HER-2 positive breast cancer. It targets protein receptors that encourages the proliferation of cancer cells. Herceptin is commonly used with other types of chemotherapy drugs and now, it seems that it has found its perfect match with the arrival of neratinib.
In the words of Puma CEO Alan Auerbach the results of the trial were “pleasing” – with those who received the neratinib-Herceptin regimen not only performing better clinically but has a remarkable 33% chance of disease-free survival as well. Disease free is defined as the period where the patient is alive and without any signs of cancer reoccurrence.
In a statement, Auerbach reports, “We are very pleased with the results…This represents the first trial with a HER2 targeted agent that has shown a statistically significant benefit in the extended adjuvant setting, which we believe provides a meaningful point of differentiation for neratinib in the treatment of HER2 positive breast cancer.”
As soon as the statement was released, Puma Biotech’s shares more than tripled in value, making Auerbach an overnight billionaire. After closing at $59.03 the previous day, Puma’s shares skyrocketed to $169.48 the following day! This just goes to show how much the public is clamoring for a drug like neratinib.
Puma Biotech also announced that they would be applying for U.S. regulatory approval in the first quarter of 2015 which means that we might have to wait a while longer before the we can get our their hands on this miracle drug. If all goes well, neratinib can really make a difference in the lives of millions of women and their families across the world.
We’d like to think that neratinib and the drugs that will follow it are not only the brainchild of certain companies, but the culmination of the efforts of breast cancer advocates who tirelessly raise money to support cancer research. It is really inspiring to know that developing drugs like neratibib and other breakthrough cancer therapies is possible if we work together.
In the meantime, let us continue to support these advocates by donating or participating in their events. Who knows? Maybe one day, through our combined efforts we can finally find the cure to breast cancer. Fingers crossed.