Sunday, November 18, 2012

Roche's Avastin misses key data point in brain cancer study

Logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is pictured in Rotkreuz
Logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is pictured in Rotkreuz (MICHAEL BUHOLZER, REUTERS / November 17, 2012)

Swiss drugmaker Roche's cancer drug Avastin failed to make a statistically significant difference to survival rates of patients with a common form of brain cancer in a late-stage study, the company said on Saturday. The Phase III AVAglio study presented at the Society for Neuro-Oncology congress in Washington on Saturday showed Avastin, combined with radiation and chemotherapy, reduced the risk of cancer worsening or death, the Basel-based drugmaker said in a news release.

But the drug did not reach statistical significance in overall survival, a key data point. Further data are expected next year, Roche said. "The interim results for overall survival (OS), the other co-primary endpoint, did not reach statistical significance," the company said in the statement. Earlier data from the study published in August showed Avastin significantly extended progression-free survival of people with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Avastin is Roche's third-biggest seller and is approved to treat several types of cancer, including breast, kidney, colorectal and ovarian cancers.

Source: Chicago Tribune 

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