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FDA Approves Avastin To Treat Brain Cancer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) ¿ The Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to Roche's cancer drug Avastin as a treatment for glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, Genentech Inc. said Wednesday.

Avastin was developed by Genentech and sold through a partnership with Roche. Switzerland-based Roche agreed to buy Genentech in March.

The FDA sped up its review process because it has been more than 10 years since a new treatment for glioblastoma was approved, according to Genentech. The approval is based on the drug's ability to achieve a partial or complete response in clinical trials. Genentech said there is currently no data showing the drug reduces symptoms or improves survival.

The company is also planning a late stage trial of Avastin as a treatment for newly diagnosed glioblastoma. The company said about 10,000 people in the U.S. have glioblastoma, and tumors usually come back after initial treatment.

Avastin is approved a treatment for various forms of colon, breast and lung cancers. Last month, the company said the drug failed to stop early stage colon cancer.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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