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Why Doctors Pick $2K Drug Over Its $50 Cousin

Pricey Lucentis, cheaper Avastin 'same damn molecule': ophthalmologist

(Newser) - The prescription drugs Avastin and Lucentis both fight blindness in the elderly, and they're both made by the same company, Genentech, at what experts say is a similar production cost. The key difference between them: While an Avastin injection costs $50, a shot of Lucentis goes for $2,000....

Dangerous Counterfeit Cancer Drug Found in US

Fake Avastin missing active ingredient

(Newser) - A fake version of best-selling anti-cancer drug Avastin has been found in the US. Swiss drugmaker Roche has warned doctors and hospitals to be on the lookout for the counterfeit medication, which lacks the intravenous drug's active ingredient, the Wall Street Journal reports. Samples of the fake drug are...

Avastin Results Disappoint on Ovarian Cancer

Genentech won't be seeking US approval anytime soon

(Newser) - Avastin, the blockbuster drug that just lost approval for treating breast cancer , now looks disappointing against ovarian cancer, too. Two studies found it did not improve survival for most of these patients and kept their disease from worsening for only a few months, with more side effects. The Genentech drug...

FDA Drops Approval of Avastin for Breast Cancer

Drug lacks benefits, but side effects are 'life-threatening': commissioner

(Newser) - The Food and Drug Administration has reversed its approval of Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer, long the subject of controversy. The agency’s commissioner said the drug didn't help patients but could hurt them, the New York Times reports. “This was a difficult decision,” says...

FDA Panel: Don't Use Avastin for Breast Cancer

It recommends that agency revoke approval of popular drug

(Newser) - A special committee of the FDA voted unanimously to recommend revoking approval of the best-selling cancer drug in the world as a treatment for breast cancer. The panel says Avastin is ineffective in treating breast cancer and unsafe, paving the way for the government to remove its endorsement, reports the...

FDA Set to Drop Approval of Avastin for Breast Cancer

Says drug does not help patients live longer

(Newser) - The FDA is moving to revoke its approval of Avastin for the treatment of advanced-stage breast cancer, concluding that the drug doesn't help patients live longer, reports the Washington Post . Regulators took their initial steps yesterday against Avastin, which is the best-selling cancer drug in the world but also one...

Breakthroughs Boost Cancer Patients' Hopes

Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma yield to new approaches

(Newser) - New treatments for cancer—breast, ovarian, and skin—raised hopes at this weekend's meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. The findings aren't enough for Robert Langreth of Forbes , who sees "serious questions about whether big drug companies may be rushing too fast." Judge for...

Colon Cancer Drug Flunks Important Test

Avastin's effects on early-stage disease don't meet expectations

(Newser) - Clinical trials to determine the drug Avastin’s effects on early-stage colon cancer were a big disappointment for drug firm Genentech, the New York Times reports. The drug, which is typically used in late-stage cancer, didn’t significantly cut the recurrence rate among 2,700 subjects in the early stages,...

Popular Cancer Drug Is Iffy and Expensive

Widely prescribed Avastin doesn't prolong life, studies say

(Newser) - Avastin is one of the most widely prescribed cancer drugs in the world, but it might not work, the New York Times reports. The drug, made by Genentech, brings in about $2.3 billion a year in the US alone, but recent trials have shown that though the drug shrinks...

Genes ID Best Patients for Colon Cancer Drug

Step toward 'holy grail' of personalized cancer battle

(Newser) - Researchers have taken a giant step toward the "holy grail" of personalized cancer treatment—by using genetic profiling to accurately target chemotherapy, Reuters reports. A new genetic test of colon cancer tumors is able to predict with accuracy whether a patient will respond to treatment with the drug Erbitux,...

Cancer Drug Sales Push Genentech Profits Up 12%

But analysts say Avastin sales slowing

(Newser) - Biotech firm Genentech said sales of its blockbuster cancer drug Avastin fueled a first-quarter profit increase of 12%, reports the Wall Street Journal, but the $600 million in sales was below analysts’ projected $622 million, causing some to grumble the drug may have reached a sales plateau. Genentech stock edged...

FDA Clears Avastin for Breast Cancer

Ruling rejects own panel's advice; drug now used for lung, colon treatment

(Newser) - The FDA has approved a drug currently prescribed to treat lung and colon cancer for use on breast cancer patients, the AP reports. The decision defies the advice of the FDA's own advisory panel, which recommended that Avastin not be used to treat breast cancer on the grounds that it...

Street Yawns at Genentech Quarterlies
Street Yawns at Genentech Quarterlies

Street Yawns at Genentech Quarterlies

Despite beating analysts' revenue and profit forecast, biotech's share price drops

(Newser) - Drug maker Genentech – struggling with near-flat sales of its two premier drugs, Avastin and Rituxan – managed to outperform analyst’s fourth quarter expectations – barely, reports the Associated Press. The one-time biotech uber star, which recorded phenomenal growth in each of the two previous years, showed only a...

FDA Panel Rejects Breast Cancer Drug

Uncertainties on risk sink bid to expand uses for Avastin

(Newser) - An FDA panel rejected a drug to treat advanced breast cancer by 5-to-4 vote, the Wall Street Journal reports. The drug Avastin is already used to treat colon and lung cancer, but the panel said it did not have sufficient data to weigh the risks and benefits of using the...

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