Tag Archive | "avastin"

Roche Positive on Avastin for Ovarian Cancer

Roche Holding AG gave an upbeat statement about the possibility of Avastin getting an approval to be a key drug for ovarian cancer.

Pascal Soriot, the company’s pharma head, said that they are absolutely confident that Avastin will be approved in Europe and they are also positive that it will be approved for the US market.

The sales of Avastin have fallen dramatically over the past few months since healthcare authorities that its use in breast cancer be curbed. Avastin is currently used to cure a range of tumors.

Now, Roche is banking on the use of Avastin – their multibillion dollar seller drug – to focus on the treatment of ovarian cancer. They are hoping that the shift in drug use will drive massive sales for their company in the future. The company has already filed for approval in Europe and as soon as they get an overall survival data, they will also seek approval in the US.

Moreover, Roche will also present partial data on MetMab in the treatment of lung cancer. They are also trying to develop the drug to treat other diseases like breast cancer.

Physicians and other investors are also looking in to studying vemurafenib to treat skin cancer. Soriot admitted that the commercial possibilities for the drug are still low because of the limited cases of skin cancer. However, should the drug be developed for treating other kinds of cancer the sales may also go up.

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Avastin Effectively Fights Macular Degeneration

Based on the results of a recent study in the United States, Avastin is equally effective against macular degeneration to Lucentis. Avastin is an anti-cancer drug while Lucentis is the leading drug for macular degeneration; Avastis, however, is 40 times cheaper than Lucentis.

The study basically compared Avastin to Lucentis. Both drugs were developed by Genentech, a US firm owned by the Swiss laboratory Roche.

While the test was still ongoing, the researchers randomly assigned a total of 1,208 people with neovascular macular degeneration to get Avastis or Lucentis injections in the eye on a regular basis. That is either done monthly or on an as needed basis, depending on the patients’ monthly evaluation.

Macular degeneration is a condition that usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision around the center of the visual field due to damage to the retina. It is the most common cause of visual impairment among adults ages 50 and above. This condition will make it almost impossible for the patient to recognize faces, let alone read. However, they usually have enough peripheral vision to allow them to carry on regular daily activities.

After a year of trials, Avastis and Lucentis have the same effects on the respondents’ visual acuity when they are administered following the same schedule. However, the cost of treatment varies widely said Doctor Juan Grunwald, one of the study authors.

The average cost per patient of those who were administered with Lucentis is $23,400. That is a very huge amount of money compared to the $385 cost per patient treated with Avastis.

This study appears in the most recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

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