Genentech drug boosts leukemia patient survival

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A combination of Genentech Inc’s cancer drug Rituxan and chemotherapy reduces by 41 percent the risk of death or cancer progression, compared with chemotherapy alone, for patients with a common form of leukemia, the company said on Saturday.

Results from the pivotal- or final-stage trial found that previously untreated patients given the combination therapy had a median progression-free survival of 42.8 months, compared with 32.3 months for those on chemotherapy alone, Genentech said.

The trial involved 817 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, the most common form of adult leukemia.

A separate trial of 552 CLL patients who had stopped responding to chemotherapy found the combination reduced the risk of death or cancer progression by 35 percent.

The studies, presented in San Francisco at a meeting of the American Society of Hematology, were sponsored by Genentech’s majority owner Roche Holding AG, which markets Rituxan outside the United States under the brand name MabThera.

The drug, co-marketed in the United States by Genentech and Biogen Idec Inc, is approved to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Rituxan, which had U.S. sales of $655 million in the third quarter, is an antibody designed to bind to a protein on the surface of B-cells where it recruits the body’s natural defenses to attack and kill the marked cells.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Genmab are developing a similar antibody, called ofatumumab. Results from a smaller Phase 3 trial of that drug in CLL patients who have stopped responding to chemotherapy will be presented at the hematology conference on Monday.

(Reporting by Deena Beasley; Editing by Peter Cooney)


Related Posts:

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis AG’s cancer drug Tasigna was effective and helped achieve rapid responses as an initial therapy in newly diagnosed patients with a life threatening form of leukemia, the company said. Data from two mid-stage clinical trials presented at an American Society of Hematology meeting showed there was rapid elimination of cancer cells in

Full Post: Novartis leukemia drugs show promise

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - A drug used to suppress the immune system in cancer and rheumatoid arthritis has helped extend the life of a Minnesota boy struggling with a rare and deadly form of the genetic disorder Pompe disease. A team of researchers led by Dr. Nancy Mendelsohn of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Full Post: New therapy helps boy with rare disease

* Avastin meets goal in breast cancer clinical trial * Study shows Avastin can be added to common chemotherapies * Roche stock up 4.1 percent ZURICH (Reuters) - Roche Holding AG, the world’s largest maker of cancer drugs, said on Monday that Avastin met its primary endpoint in a Phase III breast cancer trial. Roche said Avastin, which it

Full Post: Study boosts Roche’s Avastin in breast cancer

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Combining two chemotherapy drugs with two targeted therapies was safe and appeared to help patients with advanced lung cancer live longer, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday. The combination of Roche and Co’s Avastin, ImClone’s Erbitux, carboplatin and paclitaxel appeared to add an average of two months to

Full Post: Four drug combination helps in lung cancer: U.S. study

By Toni Clarke BOSTON (Reuters) - Biotechnology company Antigenics Inc said on Monday that its Oncophage vaccine extended survival in a small study of patients with brain cancer. Results from the 12-patient study, which were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology in Las Vegas, showed that patients who were vaccinated with Oncophage following

Full Post: Antigenics vaccine promising in small cancer study

Site Navigation

Most Read