Bayer’s new cancer drug Stivarga has already added a notch to its belt. Cleared by the FDA last year to treat colorectal cancer, the drug is now approved as a treatment for a rare form of gastric cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
After a 6-month priority review, the FDA blessed Stivarga for patients with advanced GIST who have failed on other treatments. Bayer tested Stivarga, known generically as regorafenib, in 199 GIST patients who fit that profile. Stivarga patients went an average of 3.9 months longer without tumor growth than patients treated with placebo. Pfizer’s ($PFE) Sutent and Novartis’ ($NVS) Gleevec are also approved to treat GIST.