Chairperson of India's Biocon Limited, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw holds a bottle containing ABRAXANE during its launch at a media conference in Bangalore on July 18, 2008. Biocon announced the launch of ABRAXANE (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) in India for the treatment of breast cancer after the failure of combination therapy for metastatic disease or relapse within six months of adjuvant chemotherapy. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators have approved Celgene Inc.'s drug Abraxane to treat late-stage pancreatic cancer.
In experimental trials, the drug extended the lives of patients by a little less than two months more than those treated with the current standard drug.
Abraxane is already approved to treat breast cancer and a type of lung cancer. It accounted for $155 million in revenue for Celgene in the second quarter.
Pancreatic cancer is considered especially deadly and hard to treat. It typically causes few symptoms until it has spread enough that it can't be surgically removed.
The National Cancer Institute estimates about 45,000 patients will be diagnosed and about 38,000 will die from the disease this year.