March 7, 2013 | By Márcio Barra
2 weeks ago, the FDA approved Kadcycla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine, or T-DM1), from Roche/Genentech, a therapy for patients with HER2-positive, late-stage metastatic breast cancer. Today, Roche was won another approval, this time in Europe for Perjeta (pertuzumab) in combination with Roche’s blockbuster Herceptin (trastuzumab), for the treatment of adults with previously untreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, strengthening the Swiss pharmaceutical giant HER2-franchise.
This approval follows the positive opinion from the CHMP back in Dec 2012. Now, the EC approved Perjeta on the basis of the positive results from the phase III CLEOPATRA study, where it showed a 34% risk reduction of death in patients who received a combination of Perjeta, Herceptin and chemotherapy and a median of 6.1 months longer without their disease worsening or death (progression-free survival), versus patients who only took Herceptin and chemotherapy. Perjeta was approved by the FDA in June 2012, combined with Herceptin and docetaxel chemotherapy.
Perjeta is part of Roche’s strategy to develop new drugs in order to extend the longevity of its best-selling brands. A 18-month course of Perjeta plus Herceptin costs approximately $188,000.
In related articles, Medical Marketing&Media has a fascinating article on the pricing of Kadcycla. I highly recommend you to check it out if, like me, you’re interested/ fascinated by the whole drug pricing affairs.