Perjeta, Avastin Breast Cancer Approvals Are A Study In Contrasts
Pertuzumab’s approval came almost a year after FDA and Genentech battled over the future of bevacizumab’s breast cancer claim at an unprecedented public hearing. While both oncologic agents were approved on the basis of a median progression-free survival benefit exceeding five months, the regulatory similarities end there.
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Despite concerns about accelerated approval on the basis of pathological complete response, which has not yet been correlated with improvements in longer-term outcomes, FDA panelists say the large body of efficacy and safety data supporting Genentech’s pertuzumab makes it worth the regulatory risk.
Roche put up improved sales figures reflecting a 9% increase in oncology sales so far in 2012 and elaborated on its plan for continued growth in the face of eventual generic competition.
In approving for marketing a finite supply of pertuzumab, FDA determined that the benefit of making a new breast cancer treatment available outweighs the risk that the drug could go into shortage due to production problems. The manufacturing concerns led to a split within the agency on the question of approval, with CDER Director Woodcock making the final call.