Targeted drugs, personalized medicine, stratified therapy--whatever you call it, using biomarkers to identify particular patients for particular drugs has been hailed as a boon for patients and a savvy strategy for pharma.
The star of personalized medicine is just the company you'd expect: Roche, with its drug-plus-diagnostic approach to cancer R&D and its stable of blockbuster HER2-positive therapies, and a total of almost $20 billion in sales from its targeted drugs.
Proponents of DNA printing have heralded it as a way to do everything from bringing alien life back from Mars to delivering vaccines in the event of a pandemic. And the technology has attracted GlaxoSmithKline and Roche, both of which have taken an interest in Cambrian Genomics.
A U.S. oncologist who thought he was getting a great deal on drugs that were almost the same thing as Avastin has found they will cost him an extra $2 million and a federal misdemeanor conviction.
Organized crime has moved into selling counterfeit and compromised prescription drugs in Europe, exploiting the mishmash of customs laws and weak points in some border protection. Those weaknesses allowed the "Mafia" to get fake manifests, use suspect wholesalers, and sell counterfeits of Roche's Herceptin and other cancer drugs across Europe.
The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness gatekeepers have flip-flopped on Novartis' Xolair before, withdrawing support for the drug in 2012 before expanding its approval for asthma the following year. Now, the National Institute for Health and Clinical is asking the drugmaker to pony up more information about the product before recommending it to treat chronic spontaneous urticarial (CSU), or psoriasis.
A new test that aims to cut down the time it takes to diagnose strep throat is expected to hit the market by year's end.
Roche's Avastin is now two-for-two on converting recent FDA priority review designations into label expansions. Just three months after the cancer giant nabbed the agency's blessing for use in cervical cancer, regulators have approved the drug in combination with chemotherapy as a treatment for platinum-resistant, recurrent ovarian cancer.
Roche never publicly described what went wrong with its early-stage BACE drug for Alzheimer's when it killed the program. But a new study from the pharma giant's Genentech unit outlines the potential threat one of their BACE efforts posed to patients--and how they've managed to adjust for it in animal studies that may well open the door to new human trials.
Roche is casting its sails toward China, eyeing the country's growing diagnostic market with plans for a new diagnostic manufacturing facility.