Roche's Perjeta proves a fast fave with cancer docs, but Kadcyla's a speed racer

Courtesy of Roche

Roche's ($RHHBY) new breast cancer duo, Perjeta and Kadcyla, seemed destined to make a big splash in the oncology market. Now, Decision Resources has the numbers to show just how big that splash has been.

Launched 18 months ago, Perjeta has been prescribed by more than 85% of surveyed oncologists, the market research firm found. Plus, individual doctors have pumped up their use of the HER2-positive cancer therapy. Oncologists are treating twice as many patients with Perjeta, on average, as they did 6 months ago.

That's impressive. But Kadcyla's results are even more so. Just 9 months after its FDA approval, more than 80% of oncologists have prescribed the pioneering armed-antibody treatment.

"Use of Kadcyla has taken just 9 months to reach comparable levels to that of Perjeta, which has been available for 18 months now," said Decision Resources analyst Amy Duval. "This reflects strong positive physician attitudes toward Kadcyla."

Courtesy of Roche

The numbers are only going up, too, Decision Resources says in its report on the twin launches. The majority of oncologists who had not yet prescribed the drugs said they plan to within the next three months.

The firm identified a couple of opportunities for Roche and its Genentech unit to exploit next. Perjeta was approved for treatment before surgery in September, and two-thirds of the surveyed doctors said they're willing to use it in those patients.

Meanwhile, Roche should emphasize Kadcyla's overall survival benefit with doctors. Oncologists were familiar with the drug's ability to keep cancer from spreading, the Decision Resources report notes, but were less familiar with its ability to prolong patients' lives.

- read the release from Decision Resources

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