Amy P Posted October 21, 2005 Share Posted October 21, 2005 This article really focuses more on the "business" side of the treatment but this was the first I had saw on this and wanted to share.... Genentech says Tarceva doesn't aid Avastin effect CHICAGO (Reuters) - Genentech Inc. said on Tuesday early results from a mid-stage trial show that combining lung cancer drug Tarceva with Avastin works no better than Avastin alone in patients with advanced kidney cancer, sending shares of Tarceva partner OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. down 7 percent. As a result, the world's No. 2 biotechnology company said it will not pursue further studies of the Avastin/Tarceva combination in kidney cancer but will continue to analyze the results of the study. The companies continue to enroll patients in a Phase 3 trial designed to test the combination of the two drugs in lung cancer patients, Genentech spokeswoman Colleen Wilson said. Genentech had hoped that Avastin, which works by cutting off blood supply to tumors, when combined with Tarceva would add to the progression-free survival of patients and improved response rate of Avastin alone. Preliminary analysis of data from the 104-patient study found that receiving Avastin plus a placebo resulted in progression-free survival and response rates similar to those achieved with the drug combination, Genentech said. "We consider today's announcement to be the death of the prospects for widespread use of Avastin plus Tarceva in renal cell carcinoma," Rodman & Renshaw analyst Michael King said in a report. He had previously expected Tarceva sales for the combination therapy to reach $9.1 million in 2010. Genentech said it was encouraged by the duration of progression-free survival seen in patients treated with Avastin in this and previous studies in kidney cancer. Avastin is currently approved only to treat colon cancer. But the company has reported encouraging results against several other tumor types and oncologists are already using Avastin to treat some forms of lung and breast cancer on an off-label basis. OSI's fortunes are far more dependent on Tarceva's performance than is Genentech. Tarceva sales growth has been disappointing, but OSI earlier this month expressed confidence in the drug's long-term prospects for its flagship drug. The company is awaiting a decision by U.S. regulators on its application to sell Tarceva to treat pancreatic cancer. Lazard Capital Markets on Tuesday cut its price target for OSI shares to $40 from $45, but maintained its "buy" rating on the stock. OSI shares closed down $2.04, or 7.9 percent, at $23.65 on Nasdaq, while Genentech shares were up 63 cents at $84.83 on the New York Stock Exchange Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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