Bayer Healthcare and Onyx Pharmaceuticals (UNKNOWN:UNKNOWN) announced today that the FDA has bumped up their oral multi-kinase inhibitor Nexavar (sorafenib) tablets assessment to priority review, promising a decision by this Christmas Day.

According to the release, Nexavar was granted fast-track status because of its potential significant improvement over current treatment options on the market. Around 35,000 people die from thyroid cancer every year, accompanied by approximately 213,000 new diagnoses.

"We are very pleased that the FDA has chosen to grant Priority Review to sorafenib," said Pamela Cyrus, M.D., Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals' head of U.S. medical affairs, in a statement today. "This is an important milestone for sorafenib, and the designation highlights the urgent need for new treatments for patients with this type of thyroid cancer who have limited or no treatment options."