No early break in Avastin trial

Hoping to see Avastin hit one out of the park in its latest colon cancer trial? Prepare to be disappointed, at least for now. Researchers took an early look at data from a study of the Genentech drug and found no reason to stop the trial early. As you know, that means Avastin wasn't so obviously successful at its trial goal--preventing a recurrence of colon cancer after surgery--that further study would just deprive the control group of a potentially lifesaving treatment.

Thus the trial will continue till next year as originally planned. And the lack of big news means that Roche's offer for Genentech stands as is, at $89 per share. If the data had shown a clear win for Avastin, that "would likely have led to an immediate increase in the Roche bid," an analyst told the San Francisco Chronicle. That's because even a small improvement in recurrence stats would boost Avastin sales significantly. And Avastin is already a key driver of Genentech's sales.

- check out the Genentech's release
- read the story in the Chronicle