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Home Industry News Roche lymphoma drug halves risk of death

Roche lymphoma drug halves risk of death

15th December 2005

Roche trials on its indolent non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) treatment MabThera have shown the risk of death is halved.

The outcome of the clinical trial was presented at the 47th annual meeting of the American Society of Haematology in Atlanta, and Roche has now filed with the European authorities for a label extension for MabThera maintenance therapy for patients suffering from indolent lymphoma.

The results are set to boost Roche’s income from MabThera even further.

In the third quarter of this year the drug alone gave revenue of $2.3 billion, with over 730,000 patients having been treated with MabThera worldwide to date.

William Burns, CEO of the Pharmaceuticals Division at Roche, said: “We are conscious that these results open a new era in the management of indolent NHL.

“Maintenance therapy with MabThera showed unprecedented survival benefits in a serious cancer disease which is currently considered incurable.”

Professor Marinus van Oers of the University of Amsterdam and lead investigator of the study said: “Our trial confirms that MabThera maintenance therapy is highly beneficial for all patients, including those who have already received MabThera as part of their initial therapy.

“We have not seen such an impressive improvement in progression free and overall survival for indolent NHL in the last 30 years. Maintenance therapy with MabThera may well become the new standard of care for these patients.”

Each year around 40,000 people are treated in Europe for NHL and internationally 1.5 million people are affected annually. Its incidence has increased by 80 per cent since the early 1970s.

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