Over the weekend oncology investigators from all around the world gathered in Madrid at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2014 Congress to review the latest advances--and setbacks--in the fast-moving field of cancer drug research. As usual, the big companies dominated the discussions, as rival oncology groups touted new data as they tried to position competing therapies in the global scramble to develop new and better cancer drugs, now one of the hottest fields in R&D.
Roche is again tracking down counterfeits of some of its cancer meds in Europe after an importer in Germany discovered the fakes. In this case, it is counterfeit MabThera, sold as Rituxan in the U.S.
So much for home field advantage. Switzerland plans to put the squeeze on drug prices, despite its corporate citizens Roche and Novartis. And the Basel-based companies are none too happy about the idea.
Counterfeiters in Europe are displaying a fondness for mimicking high-priced Roche cancer drugs. For the second time in 5 months, authorities there have uncovered fakes, and the two cases appear not to be connected.
Following up on a successful mid-stage study for the AMD eye drug lampalizumab, Genentech has triggered a pair of Phase III studies to see if it can extend its blockbuster-making R&D rep beyond the cancer drug sphere.
The nonprofit Cochrane Collaboration, which reviews clinical trial data to determine the value of pharmaceuticals, is going after Lucentis, which is used to treat the blinding eye disease age-related macular degeneration.
A long, rough patch in Fragile X syndrome drug R&D just got longer and rougher. Roche has notified patient groups that both of its mid-stage studies for RG7090--an mGluR5 therapy--failed to hit the primary and secondary goals, prompting the pharma giant to shut down the program.
Roche just won access to a larger market for its RoActemra treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
Drugs such as Roche/Genentech's Avastin (bevacizumab) boost the survival odds of some ovarian cancer patients but not others. Researchers from The University of Manchester in the U.K. and colleagues believe they've developed a new blood test that can help find patients for whom the drug works best.
Roche wanted to hang on to former Genentech CEO Art Levinson after buying out his company in 2009. But after a 5-year board stint, Levinson--now the chief exec at Google's Calico--is saying his goodbyes.