Avastin Gets Positive Opinion From CHMP for Kidney Cancer

November 27, 2007

The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended Roche-Genentech’s blockbuster cancer treatment Avastin for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma in the first-line treatment setting.

The recommendation is based on clinical data that showed patients on Avastin (bevacizumab) plus interferon doubled medium progression-free survival from 5.4 to 10.2 months compared with subjects dosed with interferon alone. The data also showed a trend toward improved survival although analyses are still pending, Roche said.

William Burns, CEO of Roche’s pharmaceutical division, said oncologists have used Avastin for other cancers in Europe, which translates into increase uptake of the product in kidney cancer once it’s approved by the European authorities.

Avastin, which had worldwide sales of $2.7 billion during the first nine months of 2007, has been recommended for use in four cancer types, including colorectal cancer in the U.S., Europe and Japan; breast cancer in Europe; and nonsmall cell lung cancer in the U.S. and Europe.