Taiho Pharmaceutical Company has received the go-ahead to market S-1, a treatment for advanced gastric cancer, a deadly disease designated as an area of significant unmet medical need.

S-1 when combined with cisplatin, was validated by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), in response to a marketing authorisation application handed in by the Japan-based pharmaceutical development company.

London Oncology Clinic spokesperson Peter Harper said that gastric cancer is an area of significant unmet medical need in Europe and around the world.

“It is exciting to see this progress, especially with an oral drug that has the potential to provide a safer and more convenient treatment alternative,” he said.

S-1 was approved in Japan in 1999 and has since become the standard of care for the first line treatment of gastric cancer. Gastric cancer is the seventh most common cancer in Europe and the sixth most common cause of cancer death.