Genentech, Roche halt enrollment in trial of Avastin

Share this article:
Following the sudden death of four patients for reasons unrelated to cancer, Genentech and its majority stakeholder Roche decided to stop enrolling new patients in a large clinical trial involving cancer drug Avastin. Roche said there have been seven total deaths since the trial of Avastin started in 2004, but the four who died suddenly prompted it to temporarily suspend enrollment while experts review additional safety data. According to the San Jose Mercury News, analysts are optimistic the deaths won't immediately affect the companies' finances because it's too early to know what caused them. The fatalities came during a trial in which Avastin was used along with a chemotherapy regimen called XELOX, to test whether Avastin can safely be used to prevent colon cancer from recurring in patients in remission. Overall there were seven non-cancer-related deaths in the Avastin/XELOX group, two of heart trouble. The cause of death of three remains unknown, and Genentech said it had no data on the other two patients. Four deaths came in another arm of the study that combined Avastin with a different chemotherapy regimen, FOLFOX. Avastin, which was approved for patients with advanced colon cancer in 2004, had 2005 sales of $1.1 billion.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M Future Leaders

Register now

Early bird $1,950 before 31 October 2014

*Group discounts available on request 


Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Channel

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, September 15

Five things for pharma marketers to know: ...

Pharma has sought 76 meetings with FDA over biosimilars; Gilead licenses Sovaldi to India generic drugmakers; Pfizer and Ranbaxy Lipitor lawsuit dismissed.

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Why Novo Nordisk is choosing not to leverage Victoza's brand equity as it seeks a weight-loss indication for liraglutide.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, September 12

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, ...

An FDA panel voted in favor of liraglutide for weight loss; Allergan investors backing an attempted takeover of the firm crossed a critical threshold; and 100 million health wearables are ...