said Monday that a late-stage study combining Avastin with Tarceva to treat lung cancer met its primary goal of extending patients' lives while preventing the disease from worsening.

The phase III trial involved Tarceva with Avastin as a maintenance therapy following initial treatment with Avastin plus chemotherapy in advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer. The study, called ATLAS, was stopped early following the recommendation of an independent data safety monitoring board.

A preliminary safety analysis "showed adverse events were consistent with previous Avastin or Tarceva studies, as well as trials evaluating the two medicines together, and no new safety signals were observed," Genentech said in a press release.

Avastin is currently approved as first-line treatment in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy for patients with locally advanced, nonsquamous nonsmall cell lung cancer. Tarceva, marketed by Genentech and

OSI Pharmaceuticals


, is cleared as a treatment for patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer who have gotten worse after at least one prior chemotherapy regimen.

Shares of Genentech were up 1% to $82.90 in late trading. OSI was gaining 11.6% to $40.60.

This article was written by a staff member of