The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted its approval to Votrient (pazopanib), the sixth kidney cancer drug to get the FDA nod since 2005.

Votrient, which is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is an oral medication for people with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which interferes with the growth of new blood vessels vital for solid tumours to grow and survive.

GSK Oncology R&D Unit senior vice-president Paolo Paoletti said while treatment has improved in the past few years with the introduction of targeted therapies, advanced RCC remains a challenging disease.

“Votrient will join existing targeted therapies to provide physicians with a new oral treatment option to their patients with advanced RCC,” Paoletti said.

The safety and effectiveness of Votrient was evaluated during a 435-patient study, which examined progression-free survival before the tumour began growing again or before the patient died.

Progression-free survival averaged 9.2 months for patients receiving Votrient compared to 4.2 months for patients who did not receive the drug.