Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Avastin Trial not Encouraging

The drug Avastin failed to prevent colon cancer from recurring by a significant amount in a clinical trial, the drug’s manufacturer, Genentech, said early Wednesday.

The results of the trial had been closely watched because a success would have paved the way to a new use of the drug, potentially increasing sales by billions of dollars a year.

Now those efforts will be set back, and it appears that Roche, the pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland, may have paid more than it needed to acquire Genentech in March. Roche shares fell 10 percent in early trading in Europe.

However, Genentech and Roche said they would continue to try to develop Avastin for use in early-stage cancer. “Our initial review of the data leads us to continue to believe Avastin may be active in patients with early-stage colon cancer,” Hal Barron, chief medical officer of Genentech, said in a statement.

Read it all here.

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