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Protein-bound paclitaxel, also known as nanoparticle albumin–bound paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel, is an injectable formulation of paclitaxel used to treat breast cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, among others. Paclitaxel destroys cancer cells by preventing the normal breakdown of microtubules during cell division. In this formulation, paclitaxel is bonded to albumin as a delivery vehicle. It is manufactured and sold in the United States by Abraxis BioScience under the trade name Abraxane where it is designated as an orphan drug as first-line treatment, in combination with gemcitabine, for the orphan disease "metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas".
This treatment was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2005 and the European Medicines Agency in January 2008 for breast cancer cases where cancer did not respond to other chemotherapy or has relapsed. In June 2010, positive results were published from a phase III trial in first-line non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) when compared with solvent-based paclitaxel, and in October 2012 the FDA widened the approved use of Abraxane to include treatment for NSCLC. In September 2013, the FDA approved Abraxane for use in treating advanced pancreatic cancer as a less toxic (although less effective) alternative to FOLFIRINOX.
Abraxane is registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods for the treatment of metastatic carcinoma of the breast after failure of anthracycline therapy. Abraxane is also included on the Schedule of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme although the manufacturer was unable to convince the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee that the drug warranted a higher price than existing comparator drugs.  Abraxane was developed by VivoRx which became Abraxis BioScience as the first in its class of drugs to use the nanoparticle albumin bound (nab) technology platform.
In 2010, Abraxis was acquired by Celgene, which now markets Abraxane. Total revenue from the sales of Abraxane for 2009 were $314.5 million. In 2013, Abraxane was FDA approved for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In 2014, Abraxane's sales were $848 million, 31 percent year-over-year increase.
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