UK's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Rejects Genentech (RHHBY)'s Avastin for Ovarian Cancer  
2/1/2013 6:58:12 AM

Roche Holding AG (ROG)’s anti-tumor drug Avastin failed for the second time in two months to win the backing of the U.K.’s health-cost regulator as a treatment for ovarian cancer in a draft decision issued today. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended against the drug as an initial treatment for women with ovarian cancer that has spread beyond the ovarian lining and then returned six months or more after first being treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. The guidance also covers fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer, NICE said. Though Avastin “may help to delay the spread of a patient’s cancer for a limited time,” there wasn’t evidence to show the drug’s benefit justified its cost, Andrew Dillon, NICE’s chief executive, said in the statement. National Health Service patients have other options for treatment, Dillon said. Today’s recommendation comes after NICE refused on Dec. 18 to back Avastin for use after ovarian cancer has initially spread. Ovarian is one of the types of cancer Roche has said will drive sales growth for Avastin. The agency in December said it wasn’t clear whether the drug helped women live longer.