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Kidney cancer drug approved by US regulator

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Avastin, a new treatment for a form of kidney cancer, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Avastin, which is made by biotech drugmaker Genentech, has already been approved to treat certain types of lung, breast and colon cancer, but the injectable treatment has been cleared for advanced renal cell carcinoma.

The approval is the sixth for the drug and it will now be used to treat the most common form of kidney cancer, which has 50,000 new cases diagnosed in the US each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Avastin was California-based Genentech’s top-selling product last year with revenue of $2.69bn (£1.59 bn).

The drug was first approved in 2004 to help fight cancer by blocking blood flows to tumours, a ‘targeted therapy’ which was considered to be a significant advance beyond chemotherapy.

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