Roche’s Perjeta reduces mortality in women with breast cancer (HER-2)

Switzerland-based Roche today positively impressed investors and scientists with new data showing that Perjeta plus a combined therapy of Herceptin and chemotherapy led to a drastic mortality reduction for patients with highly aggressive types of HER2-positive breast cancer. Investors soon rewarded Roche’s shares (Zurich), which indeed rose 7%. Specifically, the results come from a complex Phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, APHINITY (Adjuvant Pertuzumab and Herceptin IN Initial TherapY in Breast Cancer, NCT01358877/ BO25126/ BIG 4-11). Perjeta is a Roche-developed antitumoral, designed specifically to prevent HER2 receptors from dimerising with other HER receptors on the surface of cells. The results are not complete yet: further evidence is needed to assess the therapy’s long-term efficacy and it will be available by the end of the year. Perjeta, approved in the US and Europe in 2013, is likely to generate as much as $4bn pa in sales within the next 5 years, some analysts say. (Sources: Roche, Endpoints)