NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
FDA advisors scrutinized a raft of cancer drug data this week, including Pfizer's Celebrex and other drugs that have been on the market for years, even as the drug market for cancer, the nation's second-biggest killer, is ramping up.
The FDA's cancer drug advisory committee on Tuesday discussed data for Celebrex, approved in 1999 for the reduction of colorectal polyps, as well as five other cancer drugs. Celebrex is also an FDA-approved arthritis painkiller that is a member of the same class as Merck's (up $0.22 to $29.59, Research) Vioxx, which has spurred thousands of lawsuits from plaintiffs who blame the drug for heart attacks. Also known as celecoxib, Celebrex made $3.3 billion in 2004. Like other members of its drug class, the FDA gave Celebrex a revised label containing a stern "black box" warning.
Driven by aging baby boomers, cancer drug sales are projected to reach $55 billion in 2009, more than double the 2004 tally of $24 billion, according to British research firm IMS Health. The FDA often clears cancer drugs for accelerated approval, allowing them to get on the market quickly, but requires the drug makers to continue running long-term tests and submitting data to keep the drugs on the market.
Here are some of the other fast-track drugs the FDA cancer committee discussed on Tuesday:
- Doxil, from Johnson and Johnson (up $0.25 to $61.02, Research), for the treatment of AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma, where malignant cancer cells appear in the mucous membranes of bodily orifices.
- Ontak, from Seragen Incorp., for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, which causes the growth of cancerous tumors.
- Depocyt, from SkyePharma (down $0.29 to $7.16, Research), for the treatment of meningitis related to lymphoma.
- Mylotarg, from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (down $0.39 to $44.26, Research), for the treatment of a specific type of relapsed leukemia in patients 60 or older who are not considered candidates for chemotherapy.
- Campath, from Genzyme (up $1.14 to $74.62, Research)-owned Ilex Oncology, for the treatment of a specific type of leukemia related to lymphoma.
To read more about the coming boom in cancer drugs, click here.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the status of these drugs as still being in the FDA review process. CNN/Money regrets the error.