Pfizer Gets Rapid FDA Approval For New Lung Cancer Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rushed approval for a new lung cancer drug developed by Pfizer called Crizotinib, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Shares of Pfizer rose 3.2% to $18.79 in premarket trading and have continued to rise since the the market opened.

Critzonib is specifically made for lung cancer patients with a rare genetic abnormality that strikes those least at risk of developing the disease– young non-smokers. To be taken twice daily, it shrinks tumors forming inside the lungs by stopping a gene called ALK from spurring their growth.

Each year 200,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer. About 3-5% of them have the form that could be treated with Crizotinib. The drug will cost $9,600 a month, and with co-pay assistance for eligable, privately-insured patients, it should cost patients no more than $100.

The company, along with Bristol-Meyers Squibb, is also testing a new stroke prevention medication, called apixaban. In recent tests, apixaban reduced the risk of stroke in patients with a heartbeat irregularity called atrial fibrillation by 21%.

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