The drug, Fruquintinib, is likely to be approved at the end of this year and hit the market, People's Daily reported, bringing hope to patients of late-stage colon cancer.
It is co-developed by Li Jin, oncologist and director of the Tumor Department at Shanghai East Hospital affiliated with Tongji University School of Medicine, and Qin Shukui, associate head of the 81st Hospital of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), as well as 28 domestic clinical drug research institutions.
The team's research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JA-MA) on June 26, showed the drug is effective in fighting colorectal cancer and has a low toxicity to humans, the report said.
According to Li, the new drug brings hope to colorectal cancer patients who had undergone at least two chemotherapy treatments but have yet to see remission of the disease.
Clinical research shows the drug could extend life expectancy up to 9 months.
In China, more than 370,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, a ma-jority of which are already in the late stages of the disease.
While chemotherapy is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer, it has limited effect on late-stage patients, according to the People's Daily report.
Currently, China mainly produces generic anticancer drugs. The approval of Fruquintinib would mark China's transition to creating new drugs.
According to Li, Shanghai East Hospital is launching 20 new clinical studies on anticancer drugs. The hospital plans to develop at least 30 new anticancer drugs every year.