FDA approves Genentech breast cancer drug

Kadcyla is fourth approved treatment to target HER2 protein

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for late-stage breast cancer, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Genentech's Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine) for HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. HER2 is a protein involved in the growth of normal cells but found in increased amounts in some kinds of cancer cells, which contributes to cancer cell growth and survival. Genentech is the U.S. subsidiary of Swiss drug maker Roche.

The drug consists of Genentech's Herceptin connected to a drug called DM1, which is designed to interfere with cancer cell growth. It is the fourth treatment approved to target the HER2 protein, after Herceptin, GlaxoSmithKline's Tykerb (lapatinib) and Genentech's Perjeta (pertuzumab).

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