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Roche Produces a New Drug to Transform Cancer Care

Roche’s experimental drugs to treat melanoma and raise ‘good’ HDL cholesterol could transform treatment of and .

‘You can imagine if it proves to be positive this will change medicine,’ Schwan said. ‘We’re talking about a very big drug.’

Schwan spoke to Reuters in New York a day before the drugmaker holds its first review of its pipeline for analysts and investors since its purchase of Genentech a year ago.

‘The drug has reduced tumor size by 70 per cent and some patients are in full remission,’ Schwan said. ‘The life of patients has been prolonged.’     The drug has also ‘made a huge difference in quality of life’ by ending bone pain for some patients, he said.

Roche has developed a diagnostic product that can identify which patients have the mutated protein and are therefore most likely to benefit from R7204 — its companion drug.

Schwan acknowledged there is ‘a rather small population’ of patients with metastatic melanoma, but said R7204 also has a good chance of being able to treat colon cancer and other types of cancer that are likewise linked to the mutated BRAF protein.

Herceptin’s growth should come, in part, from overseas use of the medicine for stomach cancer, he said, while Avastin will be helped by recent approval to treat ovarian cancer.

Schwan said he could not comment on whether Roche would be interested in making a rival bid for OSI Pharmaceuticals, Roche’s partner on the cancer drug Tarceva.

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1 comment to Roche Produces a New Drug to Transform Cancer Care

  • Norah

    Hi,
    Just wanted to comment that I recently got to know a treatment called virotherapy, and the oncologists in Europe have stated that it has very promising results and it`s the next big treatment for melanoma, as well as colon, kidney, pancreatic cancers. Judging from the reviews I have read it uses a natural virus, that boosts the activity of immune system thus the patient`s own protection system fights against the cancer. You can visit virotherapy dot ae where its explained more.

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