) recently announced positive results on oncology drug Avastin
from a phase III study, GOG240 (n=452).
Results showed that Avastin, when added to chemotherapy
(paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan), improved
overall survival of women suffering from advanced cervical
Roche observed a 29% reduction in the risk of death for women
who received Avastin plus chemotherapy vis-à-vis those who
received only chemotherapy.
Additionally, Roche announced final results from a randomized,
double-blind, placebo controlled phase III trial, AVAglio, on
The study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety
profile of Avastin in combination with radiotherapy and Temodar
(temozolomide) after a surgery or biopsy in recently diagnosed
The results from the AVAglio study showed that patients on
Avastin plus radiotherapy and Temodar experienced major
improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) vis-à-vis those
who received placebo plus radiotherapy and Temodar.
However, there was no significant improvement in overall
Roche observed a 36% reduction in risk of glioblastoma
worsening or death in patients who received Avastin plus
radiotherapy and Temodar as compared to those who were only
treated with radiotherapy and Temodar plus placebo.
We note that Avastin is approved in the US as a monotherapy
for treatment-experienced adults suffering from glioblastoma.
It is also approved in combination with intravenous 5FU-based
chemotherapy for treating patients suffering from metastatic
colorectal cancer and in combination with carboplatin and
paclitaxel for the first-line treatment of advanced non-squamous,
non-small cell lung cancer.
Avastin was one of the leading drugs for Roche with 6% year
over year sales growth in 2012. We note that in Nov 2011, the FDA
had announced the cancellation of Avastin's approval for breast
cancer based on the conclusion that the drug was not found to be
safe and effective for that indication.
Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now,
Anika Therapeutics, Inc.
) look attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
ANIKA THERAPEUT (ANIK): Free Stock Analysis
ROCHE HLDG LTD (RHHBY): Get Free Report
SALIX PHARM-LTD (SLXP): Free Stock Analysis
SANTARUS INC (SNTS): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.