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FDA Grants Priority Review to Genentech (RHHBY)'s Leukemia Drug  
7/3/2013 8:29:23 AM

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Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company's Biologics License Application (BLA) for obinutuzumab (GA101) and granted Priority Review for GA101 in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), one of the most common forms of blood cancer, based on final Stage 1 data from the pivotal CLL11 trial. The FDA confirmed the action date is December 20, 2013. This acceptance follows the GA101 FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation that was received in May 2013.

"We're excited that the FDA has granted GA101 in CLL both Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Priority Review," said Hal Barron, M.D., chief medical officer and head, Global Product Development. "These FDA designations acknowledge the promising trial results with GA101 and will hopefully allow this novel medicine to reach the people who need it in an expedited time frame."

The FDA is evaluating data from the pivotal Phase III CLL11 trial, which found that GA101 demonstrated a statistically significant 86 percent reduction in the risk of disease worsening or death (HR=0.14, 95 percent CI 0.09-0.21, p<0.0001) when combined with chlorambucil chemotherapy compared to chlorambucil alone in previously untreated people with CLL and co-existing medical conditions. In CLL11, no new safety signals were detected for GA101. The most common Grade 3-4 adverse events (AEs) for GA101 were infusion-related reactions (IRRs) and low cell count of certain white blood cells (neutropenia) which did not result in an increased risk of infection. The incidence and severity of IRRs decreased after the first infusion and no Grade 3-4 IRRs have been reported beyond the first infusion.

Marketing applications have also been submitted to other regulatory authorities, including the European Medicines Association (EMA), in April 2013. In the United States, Genentech has opened an Expanded Access Program (EAP) to provide GA101 to people with CLL under certain circumstances while the company seeks regulatory approval.

About Obinutuzumab (GA101)

GA101 is an investigational medicine designed to attack cells that have a certain marker on their surface. It kills targeted cells both directly and together with the body's immune system. GA101 is currently being investigated in a large clinical program, including multiple head-to-head Phase III studies versus rituximab in indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

About Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

CLL is one of the most common forms of blood cancer and in 2013, it is expected that there will be nearly 5,000 deaths from CLL in the United States.

About FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Priority Review

FDA 'Breakthrough Therapy Designation' is designed to expedite the development and review of medicines intended to treat serious and life-threatening diseases and to help ensure people have access to them through FDA approval with a shorter review time. A Priority Review designation is granted to medicines that the FDA believes have the potential to provide significant improvements in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a disease.

About Genentech in Hematology

For more than 20 years, Genentech has been developing medicines that redefine treatment in hematology. Today, we're investing more than ever in our effort to bring innovative treatment options to people with cancers of the blood.

In addition to GA101, Genentech's pipeline of potential hematology medicines includes two antibody-drug conjugates (anti-CD79b [RG7596] and anti-CD22 [RG7593]), a small molecule antagonist of MDM2 (RG7112) and in collaboration with AbbVie, a small molecule BCL-2 inhibitor (RG7601/GDC-0199).

About Genentech

Founded more than 30 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.

CONTACT: Genentech

Media Contact:
Krysta Pellegrino, 650-467-6800

Advocacy Contact:
Jen Mills, 650-467-6722

Investor Contacts:
Thomas Kudsk Larsen, 650-467-2016
Karl Mahler 011 41 61 687 8503

SOURCE: Genentech

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