Roche, Synta, Ariad Present Cancer Drug Data

The 2012 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress takes place this week in Vienna from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2.

Roche will present data from a Phase III trial called Hera on Oct. 1 that may show the length of use of Herceptin in the adjuvant setting in HER2-positive breast cancer can be doubled. Herceptin, the standard-of-care for HER2 positive breast cancer, is approved for 52 weeks in the adjuvant setting. The Hera trial compared two year and one year adjuvant Herceptin regimens. If results are positive, Roche will file for regulatory approval for two-year use this year. Data from the Phare trial that compared six and 12 month adjuvant Herceptin regimens in early breast cancer will also be presented on Oct. 1.

Several notable presentations in lung cancer will be made at ESMO. AVEO will present data from a Phase II study that tested its drug ficlatuzumab in combination with gefitinib in first-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The company reported top-line results from the study in May.

A subset of patients treated with the combination had a progression free survival benefit that was twice as long as those receiving gefitinib alone. These patients specifically had mutations that make them more sensitive to EGFR inhibitors and also had low expression levels of a key marker known as c-Met. The study did not reach statistical significance in the overall intent-to-treat population. AVEO will provide an update on its development plan for ficlatuzumab at ESMO.

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