Avastin meets breast cancer goal

Roche and Genentech issued exultant press releases Monday to spread the news that Avastin extended breast cancer patients' progression-free survival in a new study. The trial had aimed to prove that Avastin could delay tumor growth, so the drug met its primary endpoint. The result is expected to aid the companies' bid to expand Avastin's use against breast cancer.

Avastin is already provisionally approved by the FDA for treatment of new cases of breast cancer, in combination with the chemo drug paclitaxel. Genentech wants the full-on OK, however, so it's been pursuing more research in support of broader use. This most recent study looked at Avastin as an addition to several chemotherapy drugs, compared with chemo alone. The study used patients who hadn't previously received chemotherapy treatment.

"We look forward to discussing these data with the FDA and are committed to securing full FDA approval of Avastin based on the totality of data in advanced breast cancer," said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hal Barron in a statement. Stay tuned.

- read the release from Roche
- get Genentech's version
- see the Associated Press news
- check out the Dow Jones story at EasyBourse