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April 22, 2009

Roche Shares Slide due to Avastin Failure in Phase III

  • Negative results from Genentech's Phase III study with Avastin in early-stage colon cancer sent Roche's shares down about 10%. Investors and analysts had pinned high hopes on this trial, some saying that it could double revenues brought in by Avastin.

    The compound is currently approved for patients with cancers that have spread beyond the breast, colon, and lung. It raked in 5.2 billion Swiss francs, or $4.5 billion, last year.

    Roche, which took over Genentech for $46.8 billion last month, opened today at 138 swiss francs after Phase III results showed that Avastin would not be successful in reducing the likelihood of cancer reappearance when combined with chemotherapy following surgical procedures. Results from a separate international Phase III trial sponsored by Roche that combines chemotherapy and Avastin are expected next year.


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