TAIHO AND SANOFI-AVENTIS TO DEVELOP ANTICANCER AGENT

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Japanese drugmaker Taiho Pharmaceutical and sanofi-aventis have signed an agreement giving sanofi-aventis the rights to develop and market an oral anticancer agent S-l.

S-l, a proprietary product from Taiho, is a new oral pyrimidine fluoride-derived anticancer agent in which a pro-drug of 5-FluoroUracil (5-FU), Tegafur, is combined with 2 inhibitors of enzymes to increase the amount of circulating 5-FU with less gastrointestinal toxicity.

S-l has been marketed in Japan since 1999. Today the drug is prescribed in the following indications: gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, head and neck cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and inoperable or recurrent breast cancer.