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Avastin fails colon cancer study

Roche has announced that Avastin combined with chemotherapy to treat colon cancer has failed to reach its primary endpoint in a phase III trial

Roche has announced that Avastin combined with chemotherapy to treat colon cancer has failed to reach its primary endpoint of lowering the risk of the cancer returning in a phase III trial.

The study, known as NSABP C-08, monitored the use of Avastin with chemotherapy for treatment of colon cancer after surgery compared with chemotherapy alone.

Dr Hal Barron, senior vice president, Development and chief medical officer of Genentech said: "While we are disappointed the C-08 study did not meet its primary endpoint, our initial review of the data leads us to continue to believe Avastin may be active in patients with early-stage colon cancer and look forward to NSABP's presentation at ASCO [American Society of Clinical Oncology]".

Avastin is approved in the EU for the treatment of advanced breast, lung, kidney and colorectal cancers. The results of this study do not affect the use of Avastin in advanced stages of disease.

Avastin is produced by Genentech who merged with Roche earlier this year. The cancer treatment is one of the company's key products and high sales of the drug helped to drive strong performance for Roche in Q1 2009.

23rd April 2009

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