ROCHE, GENENTECH FILE SBLA FOR AVASTIN

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Roche and Genentech have submitted a supplemental biologics license application to the FDA to market Avastin for lung cancer. The drug treats non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The companies have filed for use of Avastin (bevacizumab) in combination with a platinum-based chemotherapy (carboplatin plus paclitaxel) for previously untreated patients suffering from advanced NSCLC.

Avastin is the first treatment to inhibit angiogenesis -- the growth of a network of blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to cancerous tissues -- the companies said. The drug targets vascular endothelial growth factor, a naturally occurring protein that is a key mediator of angiogenesis. Avastin chokes off the blood supply that allows tumors to metastasize, or grow and spread throughout the body.