FDA decides to review information on Avastin for advanced HER2-negative breast cancer

Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced that information submitted by the company to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the review of the supplemental Biologics License Applications (sBLAs) for Avastin® (bevacizumab) for previously untreated (first-line) advanced HER2-negative breast cancer has been deemed a major amendment. In accordance with FDA guidelines, the agency has extended the review period for the sBLAs by an additional 90 days. The company now anticipates FDA action on the sBLAs by December 17, 2010.

“We are pleased by the FDA's decision to review additional information on Avastin and are committed to working closely with the agency during this extended review period”

At this time, Avastin remains under accelerated approval in combination with paclitaxel for the first-line treatment of HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. The FDA is currently reviewing two sBLAs that Genentech submitted in November 2009 for Avastin in combination with taxane-based, anthracycline-based and capecitabine chemotherapies based on the results of the AVADO and RIBBON1 studies. Data from AVADO and RIBBON1 were submitted as part of Genentech's effort to convert the accelerated approval to a full approval.

"We are pleased by the FDA's decision to review additional information on Avastin and are committed to working closely with the agency during this extended review period," said Hal Barron, M.D., executive vice president, Product Development and chief medical officer.

Today's announcement does not impact Avastin's availability for its approved uses for other cancer types in the U.S. or approved uses, including breast cancer, in other countries. Doctors with questions about the use of Avastin for advanced breast cancer can call Genentech's Medical Communications group at (800) 821-8590. Patients with questions or concerns about insurance coverage or doctors with questions about reimbursement can call Genentech's Access Solutions Group at (866) 4 ACCESS.

In February 2008, FDA granted accelerated approval for Avastin in combination with paclitaxel chemotherapy for first-line treatment of advanced HER2-negative breast cancer. The approval was based on an improvement in progression-free survival (PFS). Avastin is not approved for patients with breast cancer that has progressed following anthracycline and taxane chemotherapy administered for metastatic disease. There are no data available showing that Avastin improves disease-related symptoms or survival in advanced HER2-negative breast cancer.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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