The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved
) Avastin (bevacizumab) in combination with
fluoropyrimidine-based irinotecan or oxaliplatin chemotherapy for
treating patients suffering from metastatic colorectal cancer
Patients suffering from mCRC and initially treated with
Avastin along with an irinotecan or oxaliplatin containing
chemotherapy may now continue to receive Avastin plus a different
irinotecan or oxaliplatin containing chemotherapy if the cancer
worsens (second-line treatment).
We note that the FDA's approval was based on encouraging
results from a phase III study (ML18147). Results from the study
showed that patients continuing with an Avastin-based regimen,
even after the worsening of their cancer, survived longer than
those who underwent chemotherapy alone. The risk of death for
patients who received Avastin plus standard chemotherapy as both
the first- and second-line treatment of mCRC, was 19% lower in
comparison to patients receiving chemotherapy alone.
Notably, this is Roche's third approval for Avastin as a
treatment of mCRC. The drug is already approved by the FDA for
treating patients suffering from mCRC in combination with
intravenous 5FU-based chemotherapy. Roche has also gained
approval for Avastin for treating patients whose cancer worsened
after chemotherapy alone.
Avastin plus fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy is approved
in the EU for the treatment of adults suffering from metastatic
carcinoma of the colon or rectum.
We are pleased with Avastin's label expansion. The mCRC market
boasts of big players like
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Roche carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, other large cap
pharma stocks such as
Eli Lilly and Company
) carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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