AstraZeneca has high hopes for the in-development AZD9291, a treatment for lung cancer expected to bring in $3 billion a year at its peak, and the drugmaker is working with rival Roche to craft a blood test that can spot ideal patients for the therapy.
Last week, France made its move to knock the Novartis eye drug Lucentis out of drug coverage and move its cheaper cousin Avastin into its place. Now, Novartis and its Lucentis partner Roche are fighting back.
Blame a strong Swiss franc on any falling sales and profits Roche put up in the first half of 2014, the company said Thursday. The Swiss pharma's cancer drugs certainly didn't cause the decline, with newcomers Perjeta and Kadcyla helping power the group with especially noteworthy revenue gains.
Last week, it was priority review for cervical cancer. This week, it's the fast track for difficult-to-treat ovarian cancer.
Last week, it was priority review for cervical cancer. This week, it's the fast track for difficult-to-treat ovarian cancer. That's the record for Roche's Avastin, which is now up for quick FDA approval of two new indications.
Not every drug chief wants to ride the wave of M&A sweeping through pharma. Example: Roche CEO Severin Schwan, who says he'll stay in the shallows.
GlaxoSmithKline is touting stellar Phase III results for an in-development combo therapy for melanoma, saying its treatment beat out Roche's Zelboraf in overall survival and led independent advisers to recommend an early end for the study.
Personalized medicine is the latest trend in companion diagnostics, and companies are teaming up to develop comprehensive tests based on a patient's biologic characteristics. Roche's Ventana Medical Systems sees potential in the field, and recently inked a deal with Germany's Merck KGaA to develop a companion diagnostic test for different cancer indications.
An Alzheimer's treatment from AC Immune and Genentech posted mixed results in a midstage study, missing its coprimary endpoints but performing well in patients with milder symptoms. That leaves Roche, Genentech's parent company, with a big decision to make on whether to take the plunge into Phase III.
Roche's cancer blockbuster Avastin has yet another shot at boosting sales. The FDA put Avastin up for priority review in cervical cancer, with a decision date of Oct. 24.