Roche Holdings Ltd.
) recently announced positive results on Perjeta (pertuzumab) from
its phase III Cleopatra study. New data from the study showed that
patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer survived
longer when treated with a combination of Perjeta, Roche's existing
breast cancer drug Herceptin, and docetaxel chemotherapy rather
than with Herceptin plus docetaxel chemotherapy.
Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
had approved Perjeta in the above mentioned combination for
treating HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer in patients who
have not received prior anti-HER2 therapy or chemotherapy for
metastatic disease. Results, previously published in the
New England Journal of Medicine
, showed that patients treated with Perjeta plus Herceptin and
chemotherapy lived 6.1 months longer (on a median basis) than those
in the placebo arm without their tumor worsening.
Roche is also seeking European approval of the combination
therapy for treatment-naïve HER2- positive metastatic breast cancer
Apart from Herceptin, other treatments in the market for the
treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer include
) Tykerb. The strengthening of the breast cancer portfolio at Roche
should boost the top line further since the market for breast
cancer, the most common form of cancer affecting women globally,
offers significant commercial potential. HER2-positive cancer, an
aggressive form of breast cancer, affects 15-20% of the total
breast cancer population.
Roche, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, carries a Zacks #3
Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.
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