November 18, 2007 / 7:22 PM / 12 years ago

Genentech: Avastin shows promise for brain cancer

NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. biotechnology company Genentech Inc DNA.N said on Sunday its blockbuster cancer drug, Avastin, showed encouraging results for patients with the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

In a Phase II trial, the drug, administered alone or with chemotherapy, demonstrated an encouraging six-month survival rate for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer.

Genentech said 36 percent of patients treated with Avastin alone and 51 percent treated with a combination of the drug and chemotherapy lived without the disease advancing within six months.

“Historical estimates suggest that only 15 percent of patients with this aggressive type of brain cancer live without their cancer progressing within six months,” Timothy Cloughesy, the lead investigator for the study, said in a statement.

The five-year survival rate for patients with GBM is 3 percent, Genentech said, citing American Cancer Society data.

Genentech, which is majority owned by Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG ROG.VX, developed Avastin with that company, which has rights to Avastin outside the United States. (Reporting by Lisa Lee; Editing by Braden Reddall)

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