Endometrial cancer is rare, but the drug, named Virexxa, could help 25,000 women in Europe and six women in Estonia annually, ETV reported on Tuesday.
“Often, when endometrial cancer is in a later stage, then hormonal treatment, which is normally prescribed, has no effect as the necessary receptors have perished. Our drug candidate re-grows these receptors, meaning that hormonal treatments, which can help patients, begin to have an affect again,” said Riin Ehin, the head of the research center.
AS Kevelt, who will produce the drug, said that it expects to have a sales license in 18 to 24 months time and have already agreed to invest eight million euros into production facilities in Estonia.
Ehin also said that larger pharmaceutical companies have neglected drug development for rare cancers as the market is too small, but these markets are attractive to Estonia.
Virexxa is the first cancer drug candidate to be developed in Estonia.
Kevelt is also in the process of developing a new drug to treat rare blood cancers. It is currently in advanced stages of testing.
See also: Competence Center for Cancer Research, http://www.vtak.ee/en/