Fueled by new cancer therapeutics, last year the annual new molecular and biological entity approval count from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saw its highest year since 1997. One-third of the novel products approved by the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) are used to treat cancers of the blood, breast, colon, prostate, skin and thyroid.
The 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was announced earlier this week. The prize was awarded to three europeans for the discoveries of two viruses that cause severe human disease; the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Two French scientists, Luc Montagnier, age 76, at the University of Paris in Paris, France and Francoise BarrÃ©-Sinoussi, age 61, at the Institut Pasteur in Garches, France will split half the prize for their discovery of the HIV virus. BarrÃ©-Sinoussi is the 8th woman to receive the Nobel award for Physiology or Medicine.
A German researcher, Harald zur Hausen, age 72, at the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, will receive the other half of the $1.3 million prize for establishing that most cervical cancers are caused by two types of human papilloma virus.