Roche's breast cancer franchise given boost by postive trial data
October 3, 2012, 12:06 am TWN
LONDON--Roche, the world's biggest maker of cancer drugs, got a boost on Monday as results of trials that will protect sales of its breast cancer drug Herceptin coincided with data showing a new drug in the franchise helped patients live longer.
Two trials on Roche's blockbuster Herceptin wiped out a risk that they could have indicated a shorter period of treatment than the current recommendation of one year — a finding that could have cost up to US$1.5 billion in sales.
A third trial comparing Roche's experimental drug TDM-1 with a standard cocktail of drugs in patients with an aggressive form of advanced breast cancer showed the new drug helped patients live more than five months longer.
TDM-1, or trastuzumab emtansine, is an "armed antibody" drug being developed by Roche and Immunogen as a successor to Herceptin, which could be exposed to so-called "biosimilar" generic competition in Europe from around 2015.