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Amgen claims denosumab trial boost


Biotechnology firm Amgen claims its bone metastases treatment denosumab has been proved to be more effective in clinical trials than rival drug Zometa, which is marketed by Novartis.

Amgen said its antibody treatment was more successful in delaying or preventing skeletal related events (SRE) in a study of 1,901 patients who suffered from hormone-refractory prostate cancer and bone metastases.

Cancer cells weaken and destroy the bone around the tumour in skeletal metastases patients. This can lead to serious complications known as SREs, which consist of fracture, radiation to bone, surgery to bone or spinal cord compression. All can be serious complications for advanced cancer patients.

Trial results showed anaemia, back pain and nausea as the most common adverse effects for denosumab, while those who took Zometa experienced anaemia, back pain and decreased appetite. The study is the last of three trials, involving 5,700 people, which looked at denosumab’s effectiveness in treating bone metastases.

The studies have been handed into regulatory authorities in the US and the European Union as they form the basis of the clinical evidence package for denosumab in advanced cancer.

Copyright Press Association 2010

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