Avastin nabs quick glioblastoma OK

Good news for Roche's Avastin: The FDA cleared the Genentech-discovered cancer med for use against glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. It's good news for glioblastoma patients, too; there hasn't been a new treatment for those tumors in 10 years. 

As you know, Avastin was up for accelerated approval, given the scarcity of new glioblastoma treatments. An FDA advisory committee decided that early data on Avastin vs. glioblastoma was promising enough to hustle out an approval, and now the agency has officially agreed. Roche/Genentech will still follow through with a planned clinical trial pitting Avastin against brain cancer.

Though this OK isn't quite broad enough to offset last month's upsetting news that Avastin had failed its long-anticipated test as an adjuvant treatment for colon cancer, it's big enough to push sales up by a half-billion or so. In 2008, the drug brought in some $4.61 billion globally. And it's another step toward Roche's goal of $7 billion to $8 billion in Avastin revenues by 2011.

- read the Genentech release
- see the news from Reuters