FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin

ROCHE HALTS AVASTIN TRIAL

July 7, 2006
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Roche announced recently that it had ended a Phase III trial of Avastin's effectiveness in treating pancreatic cancer because an independent study showed that the drug did not improve patients' survival chances.

The company's decision to stop the trial of Avastin (bevacizumab) use in combination with gemcitabine chemotherapy as a first-line treatment of pancreatic cancer was stopped solely due to a lack of effectiveness and not any safety concerns, Roche said in a statement. The company will evaluating the data to determine why the combination therapy was not successful, it said.

The company also emphasized that the drug is still effective in treating colorectal, lung and breast cancers. Roche and Genentech are pursuing a broad clinical investigation of Avastin's use for these and other types of cancer, including ovarian and prostate, the company said.