Hours ahead of the 2010 European Society for Medical Oncology meeting in Milan, Roche CEO Severin Schwan (photo) is talking up data from two of his company's cancer drugs: T-DM1, a breast cancer treatment, and MetMab, a drug for lung cancer. "I think a lot of people will be very excited about what we have to present," said Schwan, as quoted by Reuters. "I think the T-DM1 results are stunning; MetMab results are stunning." The remarks were made at a press and analyst event in Tokyo.
In a head-to-head Phase II study, T-DM1 demonstrated a higher response rate and lower toxicity than Herceptin. TheStreet notes that the results are significant since T-DM1 could eventually replace Roche's blockbuster Herceptin. Immunogen is also partnered on the drug. More data on T-DM1 and MetMab will be presented at the meeting.
Roche could use some good news, as the Swiss drugmaker has been hit with a series of recent pipeline setbacks. Roche has delayed development of Type 2 diabetes drug taspoglutide; FDA handed Roche and Genentech a refuse-to-file letter for trastuzumab-DM1; trials of rheumatoid arthritis drug ocrelizumab were suspended, and the FDA is reviewing a breast cancer indication for blockbuster drug Avastin. The various challenges have caused Roche's stock to drop 21 percent this year.