FDA announced Friday that the cancer treatment drug Avastin is no longer approved for use. Avastain which was initially approved for use in 2008 has been scrutinized by the FDA in recent years as to the drugs effectiveness. In 2008 Avastain had shown strong promise by delaying tumor growth in some patients especially female patients with breast cancer. Despite the fact that some of its own advisers argued against the FDA gave the drug conditional approval.
The problem that the FDA found was that the effects on tumor growth were smaller than first thought. Patients who were accustomed to taking Avastain had shown no signs of longer life or an increase in quality of life from the consumption of the drug. During the last few years some alarming side effects had become apparent from the use of Avastain including massive bleeding, heart failure, heart attacks, tears in the stomach or intestines, and severe high blood pressure.
“We are disappointed with the outcome,” Genentech chief medical officer Dr. Hal Barron stated. He continued “We remain committed to the many women with this incurable disease and will continue to provide help through our patient support programs to those who may be facing obstacles to receiving their treatment in the United States.”. The news is a major hit for the drugs manufacturer Genentech a San Francisco based biotech firm.
In 2009 Genentech was acquired in a merger with the Roche Group (Pink Sheets:RHHBY). Roche Holding Ltd operates in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics worldwide. It discovers, develops, and provides diagnostic and therapeutic products and services that enable patients and healthcare professionals in the early detection, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.