April 22, 2009

Avastin fails to hit colon cancer target

The drug Avastin fell short in a clinical trial of its goal to reduce the recurrence of early-stage colon cancer, U.S. drug maker Genentech says.

The Phase III study, which looked at the effectiveness of chemotherapy combined with Avastin on patients with Stage II or III colon cancer, was conducted by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, Genentech said Tuesday.

The drug maker said Avastin failed to meet its targeted numbers in the trial but an initial review of the study suggests it may be active in patients with early-stage colon cancer.

We remain fully committed to the ongoing Avastin adjuvant programs in early-stage colon, breast and lung cancers, Dr. Hal Barron, chief medical officer of Genentech, said in a statement.

The findings will be presented at the the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.