Medivation prostate cancer drug gets priority review

Medivation Inc's experimental prostate cancer drug enzalutamide was granted priority review status by the US Food and Drug Administration, potentially reducing the review time by half.

The drug, formerly called MDV3100, was developed in partnership with Japan's Astellas Pharma Inc for the treatment of men with castration-resistant prostate cancer previously treated with docetaxel-based chemotherapy.

The acceptance of the drug for review triggered a US$10 million milestone payment to Medivation from Astellas, the companies said in a joint statement.

Prostate cancer kills about 250,000 men a year globally and the market for drugs to treat the disease is expected to grow to more than US$10 billion in 2020, according to market research firm Decision Resources.

New and potential treatments for the deadly cancer are watched closely by industry analysts and investors alike.

Drugs on the market include Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga and Dendreon Corp's vaccine Provenge. Bayer AG is also developing an experimental drug called alpharadin.

Medivation shares closed at $93.27 Monday on the Nasdaq.