November 16, 2017 / 6:20 PM / 3 years ago

FDA backs Roche's Gazyva in first-line follicular lymphoma

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is seen outside their headquarters in Basel, January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday expanded approvals for Roche’s Gazyva to include previously untreated follicular lymphoma, bolstering the Swiss drugmaker’s efforts to strengthen its portfolio of blood cancer medicines.

Gazyva is a follow-on drug to Rituxan, which at more than $7 billion in annual sales is Roche’s top seller but which has lost patent protection in Europe, exposing it to cheaper copies.

Reporting by John Miller, editing by David Evans

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