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Taiwan-made cancer drug gains landmark FDA approval in U.S.

Taiwan-made cancer drug gains landmark FDA approval in U.S.

A cancer drug developed in Taiwan has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the first time, the developers said Thursday.

The National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) said the drug, called Onivyde, has proved effective in treating pancreatic cancer, which is generally known to have a very poor survival rate.

The institute said the drug could raise the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients from 6 percent to 50 percent.

Chen Li-tzong, an NHRI researcher who headed the project, said the U.S. FDA's approval of Onivyde on Oct. 22 was a first for Taiwan-made cancer drugs and represented a significant breakthrough in Taiwan's efforts to develop such drugs.

A research paper on Onivyde has been published in the British medical journal "The Lancet," the NHRI said.

According to the World Health Organization, about 330,000 people across the world die of pancreatic cancer each year.

In Taiwan, 1,500-1,800 people per year are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and the ne-year survival rate is 20-25 percent, Chen said. (Lung Pei-ning and Lee Hsin-Yin)

Updated : 2021-09-20 19:21 GMT+08:00