The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for Roche‘s Avastin (bevacizumab) for people with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.

Avastin works differently to other approved medicines for renal cell carcinoma because it specifically binds to the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein, which is produced in elevated amounts in most kidney cancers.

FDA approval was based on data from a pivotal Phase III study (AVOREN), which showed that patients who received Avastin plus interferon alpha lived nearly twice as long without their disease getting worse compared to those who received interferon alpha alone.

Roche’s Pharmaceuticals Division CEO William M Burns said that Avastin has now been approved for five different types of cancer in the US.

“This underscores our belief in the important clinical benefits that Avastin delivers as we push forward with our ongoing research programmes in more than 30 tumour types,”
Burns said.

Avastin has been available in Europe since the end of 2007 for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced and/or metastatic renal cell cancer in combination with interferon alpha.