Eisai launches Halaven in the UK

A new treatment for breast cancer patients with advanced or metastatic disease has launched in the UK.

Eisai’s Halaven (eribulin) is indicated in patients who have progressed after at least two chemotherapeutic regimens, preferably an anthracycline and a taxane.

The drug is a non-taxane, microtubule dynamics inhibitor and a synthetic analog of halichondrin B, a natural product isolated from the marine sponge Halichondria okadai.

In clinical trials, patients treated with eribulin survived a median of 2.5 months longer than patients who received treatment of physician’s choice.

In the UK breast cancer is the second most common cause of female cancer death after lung cancer.

“Eribulin addresses an urgent need for new treatment options for women with advanced breast cancer who have previously received multiple treatments,” said Dr Andrew Wardley, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Co-Chair of the Breast Group at The Christie Hospital in Manchester.

Eribulin received European Commission approval in March 2011.

“As a charity that supports patients living with metastatic (secondary) breast cancer, we have heard from many UK women that they feel there are limited treatment options available to them. The UK launch of eribulin is a step towards a drug being made available to these patients which could help give them precious extra time,” commented Maria Leadbeater, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Breast Cancer Care.