American Pharmaceutical Partners’ share price sky-rocketed by more than 47% during trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange yesterday to a new 52-week high after the company revealed that it had won US Food and Drug Administration approval for Abraxane (paclitaxel) in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

Abraxane – the first in a new class of drugs known as “protein-bound particles” – contains the active ingredient, paclitaxel, which is also found in Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Taxol. However, the company says that its product is less toxic and has shown an improved response rate versus B-MS’ offering. In addition, American Pharmaceutical says that, because Abraxane contains no toxic solvents, it enables the administration of 50% more chemotherapy.

Abraxane is specifically indicated for the treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within six months of adjuvant chemotherapy.