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FDA Approves Avastin (bevacizumab) Plus Chemotherapy for a Specific Type of Advanced Ovarian Cancer

South San Francisco, CA -- December 6, 2016 -- Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Avastin (bevacizumab), either in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel or in combination with carboplatin and gemcitabine chemotherapy, followed by Avastin alone, for the treatment of patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. Women are said to have a ‘platinum-sensitive’ form of the disease if a relapse occurs six months or longer following the last treatment with a platinum-based chemotherapy.

“With today’s approval of Avastin plus chemotherapy, women in the U.S. with recurrent, platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer now have a treatment option that showed a survival difference of more than five months compared to chemotherapy alone in a clinical trial,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “This approval was based in part on a Gynecologic Oncology Group cooperative clinical trial and reinforces the importance of partnerships with study groups to identify new treatment options for people in need.”

“In the United States, ovarian cancer causes more deaths annually than any other gynecologic cancer,” said David Barley, chief executive officer, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC). “This approval demonstrates Genentech’s commitment to women with ovarian cancer, a disease with signs and symptoms that too often go unrecognized.”

Avastin in combination with chemotherapy for platinum-sensitive recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer was granted priority review, and today’s approval is based on results from two randomized, controlled Phase III studies, GOG-0213 and OCEANS. The GOG-0213 study demonstrated that adding Avastin to chemotherapy showed an overall survival difference of five months compared to chemotherapy alone (median OS: 42.6 months vs. 37.3 months; Hazard Ratio (HR)=0.84, 95% CI: 0.69-1.01 and HR=0.82, 95% CI: 0.68-0.996, depending on stratification factor). Both the GOG-0213 and OCEANS studies demonstrated a significant improvement in the time women lived without their disease getting worse (progression-free survival, PFS). The GOG-0213 study showed that women lived a median of 3.4 months longer without disease progression with the addition of Avastin to chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone (median PFS: 13.8 months vs. 10.4 months; HR=0.61, 95% CI: 0.51-0.72). The OCEANS study showed that Avastin in combination with chemotherapy significantly improved PFS compared to placebo plus chemotherapy (median PFS: 12.4 months vs. 8.4 months; HR=0.46, 95% CI: 0.37-0.58; p<0.0001). Overall survival, one of the secondary endpoints in the OCEANS study, was not significantly improved with the addition of Avastin to chemotherapy (HR=0.95, 95% CI: 0.77-1.17). Adverse events in both studies were consistent with those seen in previous trials of Avastin across tumor types for approved indications, but also included fatigue, low white blood cell count with fever, low sodium level in the blood, pain in extremity, low platelet count, too much protein in the urine, high blood pressure and headache.

In November 2014, Avastin was approved in the United States for the treatment of women with platinum-resistant recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer in combination with paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin or topotecan chemotherapy. Women are considered to have a ‘platinum-resistant’ form of the disease if a relapse occurs less than six months after the last treatment with a platinum-based chemotherapy.

About the GOG-0213 and OCEANS Studies

GOG-0213 is an independent Phase III study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and conducted by the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) that enrolled 673 women with platinum-sensitive recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. The primary endpoint of the study was to assess whether the addition of Avastin to chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel) followed by continued use of Avastin alone increased overall survival (OS) compared to chemotherapy alone. Progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate (ORR) were secondary endpoints in the GOG-0213 study.

About Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other gynecologic cancer in the United States. In 2016, about 22,200 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States and about 14,200 will die from the disease. Patients are said to have ‘platinum-sensitive’ disease if a relapse occurs six months or longer following the last cycle of platinum-based chemotherapy. About half of those who relapse after initial treatment – over 8,000 women – will have platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer.

About Genentech Access Solutions

Access Solutions is part of Genentech’s commitment to helping people access the Genentech medicines they are prescribed, regardless of their ability to pay. The team of in-house specialists at Access Solutions is dedicated to helping people navigate the access and reimbursement process, and to providing assistance to eligible patients in the United States who are uninsured or cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs for their medicine. To date, the team has helped more than 1.4 million patients access the medicines they need. Please contact Access Solutions (866) 4ACCESS/(866) 422-2377 or visit http://www.Genentech-Access.com for more information.

About Avastin

Avastin is a prescription-only medicine that is a solution for intravenous infusion. It is a biologic antibody designed to specifically bind to a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that plays an important role throughout the lifecycle of the tumor to develop and maintain blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. Avastin is designed to interfere with the tumor blood supply by directly binding to the VEGF protein to prevent interactions with receptors on blood vessel cells. The tumor blood supply is thought to be critical to a tumor's ability to grow and spread in the body (metastasize).

Avastin Indications:

  • Avastin is indicated for the first or second line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer in combination with intravenous 5 fluorouracil–based chemotherapy.
  • Avastin in combination with fluoropyrimidine-irinotecan or fluoropyrimidine-oxaliplatin based chemotherapy is indicated for the second line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have progressed on a first line Avastin-containing regimen. Avastin is not indicated for adjuvant treatment of colon cancer.
  • Avastin in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy is indicated for first line treatment of patients with unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic nonsquamous, non-small cell lung cancer.
  • Avastin is indicated for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma in combination with interferon alfa.
  • Avastin in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan is indicated for the treatment of persistent, recurrent or metastatic carcinoma of the cervix.
  • Avastin in combination with paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin or topotecan, is approved to treat platinum-resistant recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer (prOC) in women who received no more than two prior chemotherapy treatments. Avastin, either in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel or with carboplatin and gemcitabine, followed by Avastin alone, is approved for the treatment of patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer (psOC).

About Genentech

Founded 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.

Source: Genentech

Posted: December 2016

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