Roche Pharmaceuticals

New Roche Data to be Presented at ASCO Offers Further Hope for Cancer Patients

    Basel, Switzerland (ots/PRNewswire) - Patients with breast or colorectal cancer, two of the world's most common cancers, can expect further treatment advances with Avastin(R) (bevacizumab) and Herceptin(R) (trastuzumab) following new data that is being presented at the 44th American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago at the end of May. Around 30,000 medical experts will attend the meeting which is the premier event for cancer therapy worldwide.

    The Roche data will show that Avastin and Herceptin are continuing to offer further hope of improving survival in patients with cancers that are still devastating thousands of lives each year.

@@start.t1@@      Breast cancer
      - Avastin: Late-breaking Phase III data from the AVADO study
      investigating Avastin in combination with docetaxel (docetaxel, also
      known as Taxotere, is one of the most commonly used chemotherapies for
      breast cancer) will highlight the encouraging efficacy and safety results
      in patients treated first-line for locally recurrent or metastatic HER-2
      negative breast cancer.
      - Herceptin: New results using Herceptin-based therapy for patients with
      aggressive HER-2 positive breast cancer will also be unveiled. The GBG26
      study data will focus on the importance of continued treatment with
      Herceptin in women with advanced metastatic breast cancer whose disease
      progressed on a Herceptin-based therapy.
      - Pertuzumab: Very promising phase II data will be presented on the
      investigational drug pertuzumab which will highlight the benefits that
      pertuzumab in combination with Herceptin could offer to patients with
      advanced breast cancer. Pertuzumab is the first of a new, innovative
      class of targeted agents known as HER dimerisation inhibitors that can
      inhibit cancer cell growth and ultimately lead to death of cancer cells
      Colorectal cancer
      - Avastin: The first presentation of data from Avastin-based
      therapy with or without cetuximab (a drug which attacks cancer
      differently to Avastin) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer
      will be shared.
      - Avastin: Impressive long-term overall survival data at two
      years, involving some 4,000 patients treated with Avastin first-line in
      combination with a variety of chemotherapy regimens will confirm the
      pivotal role that Avastin is now playing in patients with advanced
      colorectal cancer. The results of the studies are significant because
      over 50 percent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer currently die
      of the disease and these data show that improvements in survival are
      achievable. (1)@@end@@

    Roche will present nearly 300 abstracts and posters at ASCO that demonstrate advances in other major cancers, as well as the data already described above in breast and colorectal. With one of the most comprehensive oncology research and development pipelines in the industry, Roche is striving to deliver even more treatment options in the fight against cancer. For example, Avastin's clinical trial program includes 40,000 patients worldwide.

@@start.t2@@      Key sessions at which Roche data will be presented include:
      Breast cancer
      Avastin         AVADO study. Miles D, et al,              Sunday I June 2008,
                          Abstract No. LBA1011, oral                 8:30am - 8:45am, E
                          presentation                                        Hall D1
                          ASCO press briefing                            Saturday 31 May
                                                                                      2008, 9.00am, Press
                                                                                      Centre
      Herceptin      HER2-positive metastatic breast         Tuesday 3 June 2008,
                          cancer study. Minckwitz G Von, et      8:00am - 12:00pm,
                          al, Abstract No. 1025, Poster No. 6. E450b
      pertuzumab    Results of a phase II trial of          Tuesday 3 June 2008,
                          trastuzumab and pertuzumab in            8:00am - 12:00pm,
                          patients with HER2-positive                E450b
                          metastatic breast cancer (MBC) who
                          had progressed during trastuzumab
                          therapy. Gelmon K et al, Abstract
                          No. 1026, Poster No. 7.
      Colorectal cancer
      Avastin         Initial Safety Report of National      Saturday 31 May
                          Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel    2008, 3:10 p.m. E
                          Project (NSABP) C-08, a Randomized    Hall D1
                          Phase III Study of Modified
                          5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)/Leucovorin and
                          Oxaliplatin (mFOLFOX6) With or
                          Without Bevacizumab in the Adjuvant
                          Treatment of Patients With Stage
                          II/III Colon Cancer
      Avastin         Randomized phase III study of            Saturday 31 May
                          capecitabine, oxaliplatin, and          2008, 4.45pm -
                          bevacizumab with or without                5.00pm, E Hall D1
                          cetuximab in advanced colorectal
                          cancer (ACC), the CAIRO2 study of
                          the Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group
                          (DCCG). Punt C, et al, Abstract No.
                          LBA4011
      Avastin         Surgery with curative intent in         Sunday 1 June 2008,
                          patients treated with first-line        8:00am - 12:00pm,
                          chemotherapy + bevacizumab for          E450a
                          metastatic colorectal cancer: First
                          BEAT and NO16966 Cassidy J, et al,
                          Abstract No. 4022, Poster No. 9
      Avastin         Final efficacy results for                 Sunday 1 June 2008,
                          bevacizumab plus standard first-line 8:00am - 12:00pm,
                          chemotherapies in patients with         E450a
                          metastatic colorectal cancer: First
                          BEAT
                          Berry S, et al, Abstract No. 4025,
                          Poster No. 12.
      Avastin         The safety of long-term bevacizumab  Monday 2 June 2008,
                          use: Results from the BRiTE                8.00am - 12.00pm, S
                          observational cohort study (OCS).      Hall A1
                          Purdie D, et al, Abstract No. 4103,
                          Poster No. 14G
      Avastin         Safety and effectiveness of                Sunday 1 June 2008,
                          bevacizumab (BV) and chemotherapy      8.00am - 12.00pm,
                          (CT) in elderly patients (pts) with  E450a
                          metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC):
                          Results from the BRiTE observational
                          cohort study. Kozloff M, et al,
                          Abstract N0. 4026, Poster No. 13@@end@@

    Full details of key Roche data presentations will be available on Friday 30th May at an invitation-only media event for non-US journalists. All abstracts are available at: http://www.asco.org/ASCO/Meetings.

@@start.t3@@      Editor's note
      - Breast Cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women, eight
      to nine percent of women will develop this cancer during their
      lifetime.(1) Each year more than one million new cases of breast cancer
      are diagnosed(2) with a death rate of over 500,000 people per year.(3)
      - Avastin doubles the chance of a patient living without their disease
      advancing (progression free survival). When used in combination with
      taxanes (chemotherapy), Avastin substantially increases the efficacy of
      treatment with limited impact on safety. Studies show that continual
      direct VEGF inhibition with Avastin maximizes the treatment benefit for
      the patient.
      - Herceptin is a humanised antibody specifically designed to target and
      block the function of HER2, which causes fast growing, aggressive breast
      cancer tumours. Herceptin delivers high cure rates for women with HER2
      positive early breast cancer and extends survival across all stages of
      HER2 positive breast cancer by activating the immune system and
      suppressing HER2. Herceptin is considered the foundation of care in women
      with HER2-positive breast cancer and is recommended in treatment
      guidelines throughout the world.
      - Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in developed countries(4)
      and the second most common cause of death from cancer across all cancer
      types in men and women across Europe.(5)
      - Avastin acts by blocking VEGF, the key mediator of tumor angiogenesis,
      offering patients a better chance of significantly improved survival.
      Avastin is the first anti-angiogenic inhibitor to increase survival in
      first and second line treatment and to provide significant improvements
      in the time that patients can live without their disease advancing.@@end@@

    The 2008 ASCO Annual Meeting takes place from May 31 to June 3, McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Full details can be found at http://www.asco.org.

    If you or your media colleagues are interested in attending the Roche Media Event during ASCO on 30th May, where the data outlined in brief above will be presented, please contact Anne Cameron (see details below).

@@start.t4@@      References:
      1. Wilking N and Jonsson B. A Pan-European comparison regarding patient
      access to cancer drugs. Karolinska Institute in collaboration with
      Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden, 2005
      2. World Health Organisation (WHO) 2003.
      http://www.who.int/mediacentre/releases/2003/pr27/en/
      3. World Health Organisation, Projections of mortality and burden of
      disease to 2030:
      http://www.who.int/healthinfo/statistics/bodprojections2030/en/index.html
      4. Parkin DM. Estimating the world cancer burden: GLOBOCAN 2000. Int. J
      Cancer 2001; (94): 153-156
      5. Boyle P, Ferlay J. Cancer incidence and mortality in Europe, 2004.
      Annals of Oncology 2005; 16:481-488@@end@@

ots Originaltext: Roche Pharmaceuticals
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Contact:
For further information please contact: Christine McMenamin, Roche,
Tel: +41-61-688-2139, Mob: +41-79-618-7671; Anne Cameron, Galliard,
Tel: +44-207-663-2256, Mob: +44-78-416-36-871.



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