Novartis announced it achieved its primary endpoint of significantly extending progression-free survival with Afinitor (everolimus) in Phase III trials of patients with HER2 positive advanced breast cancer.
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Everolimus (RAD-001) is the 40-O-(2-hydroxyethyl) derivative of sirolimus and works similarly to sirolimus as an inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).
It is currently used as an immunosuppressant to prevent rejection of organ transplants and treatment of renal cell cancer and other tumours. Much research has also been conducted on everolimus and other mTOR inhibitors for use in a number of cancers.
It is marketed by Novartis under the tradenames Zortress (USA) and Certican (Europe and other countries) in transplantation medicine, and Afinitor in oncology.