Genentech seeks expanded approval for Herceptin

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Genentech hopes to get one of its breast cancer drugs approved as a treatment for stomach cancer, the biotech company said Friday.

Genentech, part of Swiss drug maker Roche, applied for Food and Drug Administration approval of Herceptin (trastuzumab) plus chemotherapy as a treatment for adenocarcinoma of the stomach that includes the protein human epidermal factor receptor 2, or HER2, which Herceptin is supposed to inhibit. Cancers that include HER2 tend to be more aggressive than those that don’t.

“This application reflects our commitment to developing more personalized medicines for people with cancer,” Genentech EVP global development and chief medical officer Hal Barron said. “By using diagnostics to help identify the right patients for our medicines, it is our hope that Herceptin used with chemotherapy will become the first targeted option for advanced HER2-positive stomach cancer.”

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