New Roche drug helps melanoma patients | March 16, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

- March 16, 2012

New Roche drug helps melanoma patients

Twice-a-day pill shown to improve patient survival

A metastatic melanoma drug developed by Roche Molecular Diagnostics of Pleasanton in concert with Berkeley-based Plexxikon Inc. has been approved by European regulators for adult patients with the most aggressive form of skin cancer.

The drug Zelboraf is a twice-a-day pill that targets patients suffering from a specific mutation of melanoma.

According to a report in the San Francisco Business Times by Ron Leuty, the drug was approved in August by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with a European panel recommending approval in December.

Plexxikon is owned by Daiichi Sankyo.

The approvals are expected to benefit people with BRAF mutation-positive metastatic melanoma, researchers reported in analyzing clinical trial results.

Dr. Hal Barron, Roche's chief medical officer, said Zelboraf significantly improves patient survival, according to the article.

Zelboraf also has been approved in Canada, Switzerland, Brazil, Israel and New Zealand. It is being reviewed in Australia, India and other countries, Roche said.

Zelboraf is marketed in the United States by South San Francisco-based Genentech Inc., a Roche subsidiary.


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