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Gefitinib (Iressa; AstraZeneca) is the first in a new class of targeted anticancer drugs that inhibit the tyrosine kinase activity of the epidermal growth factor receptor. Following Japanese approval in 2002, gefitinib was approved by the US FDA in May 2003 for the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer after other treatment options have failed. Despite several setbacks during the development of gefitinib, might it now be back on the path to blockbuster status?

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Figure 1: Gefitinib.
Figure 2: Market for drugs to treat NSCLC in US $ million.


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Muhsin, M., Graham, J. & Kirkpatrick, P. Gefitinib. Nat Rev Cancer 3, 556–557 (2003).

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