Roche drug positive in mid-stage skin cancer trial

Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG said on Monday one of its cancer drugs showed positive results in the treatment of people who suffer from a disfiguring form of skin cancer but who are considered unsuitable for surgery.

The Phase II trial showed Roche's vismodegib shrank tumours or healed lesions in 43 percent of people with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and 30 percent with an advanced form of the skin cancer, which can weaken or disfigure sufferers and can ultimately be life-threatening.

"Our goal is to provide a medicine to people with this rare and disfiguring form of advanced skin cancer as soon as possible, and we are discussing these results with global regulatory authorities," said Roche Chief Medical Officer Hal Barron.

Full results of the study will be presented on Tuesday at the Seventh European Association of Dermato-Oncology which begins in Nantes, France, on Monday.

"Expectations for vismodegib are currently very low. Therefore, we do not expect any share price move," said Julius Baer analysts in a research note.
Earlier this month Roche presented an impressive array of data on new and established drugs at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago.

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