It was good news on both sides of the Atlantic for Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals’ cancer drug Nexavar (sorafenib), as it received a recommedation for approval in Europe for kidney cancer, hot on the heels of an orphan drug designation by US regulators for the treatment of liver cancer.

Nexavar - the first oral multi-kinase inhibitor that targets both the tumour cell and vasculature - was recently launched in Switzerland and the US for the treatment of kidney cancer. And Bayer has high hopes for the drug, which it expects will rake in peak sales of over 1 billion euros, making it a key player in its future growth.

It is hoped that Nexavar’s potential applications will be wide-ranging. The agent is currently being investigated in Phase III clinical trials for liver cancer, skin cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, and has been studied in more than 20 tumour types and in more than 8,000 clinical trial patients, according to the group.

Furthermore, in addition to company-sponsored trials, there are a variety of Nexavar studies being sponsored by government agencies, cooperative groups and individual investigators.