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Drug may improve Herceptin effects


Roche’s multibillion-dollar breast-cancer treatment Herceptin may be boosted by the addition of an experimental drug, according to its partner ImmunoGen, which develops targeted cancer therapeutics.

T-DM1 is a second-generation treatment, which combines Herceptin (trastuzumab) with an ImmunoGen-developed tumour-killing chemotherapy payload.

The Genentech unit at Roche is to start a study of T-DM1, which has not yet been approved for use, in May 2010. An adjuvant trial is also in the planning stages.

The goal of the trials to see is T-DM1 can one day replace Herceptin as the leading treatment for women with certain breast cancers.

Herceptin global sales totalled $3.8 billion (£2.3 billion) in the first nine months of 2009 and $4.7 billion in sales in 2008.

Copyright Press Association 2009

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