GlaxoSmithKline has announced that it is planning to seek European Union approval for a pioneering new breast cancer treatment.
The pharmaceutical giant is preparing to file for approval for the revolutionary new drug, Tykerb, which can be administered orally in tablet form.
Tykerb appears to have a similar effect to products such as Swiss giant Roche's Herceptin, which are administered intravenously, and GSK hopes that it will be available in Europe from next year.
If it is granted approval, there are likely to be widespread calls for the new treatment to be available on the NHS, as it enables patients to treat themselves simply by swallowing a single pill a day in their own home.
However, the new treatment will be expensive and could put the NHS under greater financial pressure. Trials have indicated that Tykerb, chemical name lapatinib ditosylate, could significantly delay breast cancer from reaching advanced stages.
GSK has already filed for US regulatory approval for the drug, which is one of its most high profile new products and is expected to generate millions of dollars in annual sales.
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