Avastin(R) Continues to Demonstrate Long Term Survival for Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

    -   Avastin Shows Unprecedented Patient Benefits Regardless of K-Ras
        Status, Age and Chemotherapy Choice

    BASEL, Switzerland, Sept. 12 /CNW/ -

    Avastin's (bevacizumab) essential role in the treatment of patients with
metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), the world's second most common cancer,
was strengthened at the 33rd European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO)
meeting with a compelling data set including:

    -   the final overall survival analysis of a 2,000 patient community-
        based study

    -   further analyses of the Avastin and cetuximab combination study
        highlighting K-Ras findings

    -   strong and consistent outcome for elderly patients on Avastin-based

    Long-term overall survival reported from First BEAT(1)

    The long term benefits of Avastin use in combination with chemotherapy
were confirmed in the 1,965 patient First BEAT study, which combined Avastin
with commonly used chemotherapies in mCRC. First BEAT data confirmed:

    -   Avastin-based therapy delivers a median overall survival benefit of
        approximately two years (22.7 months).

    -   Patients who received Avastin plus chemotherapy and underwent
        complete resection (surgical removal) of their tumor had double the
        chance of surviving at 2 years compared to those who did not
        (89% versus 44%, respectively).

    -   Importantly, long-term Avastin treatment did not increase the risk of
        patients suffering from Avastin-specific side effects, which were
        consistent with those reported in other clinical trials.

    K-Ras findings from Avastin and cetuximab combination study to be

    On September 14, key K-Ras findings will be presented at ESMO on
Avastin-based treatment plus or minus cetuximab from the CAIRO-2 study. These
findings are expected to complement the recently reported data confirming that
Avastin is the only biologic that significantly improves survival in patients
with mCRC regardless of the patient's K-Ras gene mutation status.

    -   Specifically, the data showed that patients with the normal
        (wildtype) K-Ras gene had an 82% increase in the time they lived
        without their disease getting worse and a 57% improvement in overall
        survival when given Avastin and chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy

    -   Similarly, Avastin-based therapy improved outcomes in patients with
        mutated K-Ras compared to chemotherapy alone by increasing the time
        patients live without their disease getting worse by 69% and
        extending life by 46%.

    Avastin's survival benefit in mCRC is unmatched in patients with either
normal or mutated K-Ras. Up to 50% of patients will have a mutated form of
K-Ras, where many other treatments have been shown to provide no benefit.

    Age does not matter; Avastin works in all patients(3)

    A new analysis of 4 key trials which included more than 3,000 patients
showed that the benefits of Avastin-based therapy are independent of age.
Considering that the majority of colorectal cancer patients are over 65 years
in age, the magnitude of this finding becomes clear. The analysis

    -   Patients on Avastin-based therapy that were under 65 years old had a
        70% increased chance of being alive without their disease advancing
        compared to those on chemotherapy alone. If the patient was 65 or
        older this chance increased slightly to 72%.

    -   Furthermore, these findings were not impacted by the physician's
        choice of chemotherapy to use with Avastin.

    In January 2008, Avastin received a broad label in the EU allowing it to
be used in combination with fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy for first and
later treatment lines in patients with mCRC. This means that virtually all
patients with metastatic colorectal cancer have access to Avastin's benefits.

    Presentation of key data - further details:

    1.  E. Van Custem et     Safety and efficacy of             September 14
        al                   bevacizumab plus standard
                             first-line chemotherapy in        12.30 - 13.30
                             patients with mCRC: First BEAT        (CET)
                                                               Poster area A

    2.  J.Tol et al          Randomized phase III study of      September 14
                             capecitabine, oxaliplatin and
                             bevacizumab with or without       12.30 - 13.30
                             cetuximab in advanced CRC, the        (CET)
                             CAIRO-2 study of Dutch CRC group  Poster area A

    3. J. Cassidy et al      Effect of bevacizumab in           September 14
                             patients over 65 years of age
                             with mCRC                         12.30 - 13.30

                                                               Poster area A
    Additional information



    http://www.thenewsmarket.com (video clips about Avastin in broadcast
    standard, free of charge)

For further information:

For further information: Roche, Erica Bersin, +41-79-618-7672,
erica.bersin@Roche.com; Galliard Healthcare, Dominic Elliston,
+44-20-7663-2266, delliston@galliardhealth.com

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