Roche says Gazyvaro approved in Europe against leukemia

ZURICH Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:53am EDT

The logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is seen outside the Shanghai Roche Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. headquarters in Shanghai May 22, 2014.  REUTERS/Aly Song

The logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is seen outside the Shanghai Roche Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. headquarters in Shanghai May 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song

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ZURICH (Reuters) - Roche said on Tuesday that European regulators approved its drug Gazyvaro, or obinutuzumab, for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, boosting the Swiss group's line-up of new cancer treatments.

The new medicine is an improved follow-on medicine to the Swiss drugmaker's $7 billion-a-year Rituxan, or MabThera, and Roche is hoping to switch as many patients as possible to the newer product before Rituxan faces competition from cheaper copies.

The move endorses a favorable recommendation in May from the European Medicine Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), which are normally followed by the European Commission.

(Reporting By Katharina Bart)

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