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Drug improved Survival Time for Patients with Breast Cancer

Roche’s drug has significantly extended women’s lives with breast cancer

August 27, 2012- Roche Holding AG, the Swiss drug maker, said that its T-DM1 drug has significantly extended women’s lives that had an aggressive form of breast cancer in comparison to those who were receiving a drug treatment that was standard.

The most common cancer in the world among women is breast cancer, with close to 1.4 million new diagnoses annually. Over 450,000 women die each year from the disease, according to figures released by the World Health Organization.

Roche said the Genentech unit of its company would submit to the European Medicines Agency a marketing application for T-DM1 or trastuzumab emtansine. Roche said it already had applied for licensing with the Food and Drug Administration in the United States for the medication.

Roche said its study of the new drug now had met both of the primary efficacy endpoints for significant improvements in the overall rate of survival and the progression-free survival.

Roche is the world’s largest manufacturer of drugs for cancer and has been developing the new drug to succeed Herceptin its blockbuster medication, which is its third largest seller. Starting in 2015, Herceptin can be made generically by competition of Roche in Europe.

The trial performed to test T-DM1 compared the drug to a combination of Roche’s own Xeloda and Tykerb from GlaxoSmithKline. One advantage of the drug over the use of conventional treatments is that fewer side effects such as low counts of white blood cells and hair loss occur.

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