Avastin faces new hearing in the U.S.
Jun 28, 2011
Drug company Roche is having trouble with the Avastin drug for breast cancer. Even though Avastin is being used widely for cancer, its effects on breast cancer have long been contested. Now the drug faces a new hearing in front of the Food and Drug Administration.
According to the Associated Press, the upcoming FDA meeting on Avastin is "unprecedented since the agency has already ruled against the drug."
However, Roche wants to present its case and has taken to challenging the FDA decision.
Dr. Gary Lyman was on the committee that voted to remove approval for Avastin last year and he spoke out about the new meeting.
"It says to me that either they've gotten a great deal of negative feedback from various quarters, or there's some kind of internal disagreement within the agency," Lyman, professor at the Duke Cancer Institute in North Carolina, told the news source.
The panel that will congregate for the new meeting is composed of six experts, five of whom have already voted against the drug. Margaret Hamburg, the commissioner of the FDA, has the final say.
Breast cancer affects one in eight women in the U.S. at some point in her lifetime. More than 200,000 new female patients are diagnosed each year with the illness.