CHICAGO ( TheStreet) --Treatment with Roche's (RHHBY) Avastin helps women with ovarian cancer extend the time before their disease worsens but as of yet, the blockbuster drug has not definitively prolonged overall survival.
Results from two phase III studies of Avastin in ovarian cancer were released Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. Roche has already filed Avastin for European approval in ovarian cancer. Genentech, Roche's U.S.-based arm, intends to seek U.S. approval for the drug before the end of 2011.
Avastin is widely used to treat a variety of cancers and sales totaled amost $8 billion last year, but investors have been concerned about future growth given efforts by regulators to rescind approval for use of the drug in breast cancer. Roche is fighting those efforts but the outcome is still uncertain, all of which makes approval and use of the drug in ovarian cancer more important to the company.
In the first phase III study, dubbed OCEANS, the use of Avastin in combination with chemotherapy in women with recurrent ovarian cancer reduced the risk of disease progression by 52% compared to treatment with chemotherapy alone."Women taking bevacizumab
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