CORRECTED-Roche aims for 11 late-stage trials in cancer immunotherapy drug this year

Reuters Health Information: CORRECTED-Roche aims for 11 late-stage trials in cancer immunotherapy drug this year

CORRECTED-Roche aims for 11 late-stage trials in cancer immunotherapy drug this year

Last Updated: 2015-04-13

(Corrects headline and first sentence to reflect 11 indications for 1 drug, not 11 separate drugs.)

By Reuters Staff

BASEL (Reuters) - Roche aims to have its immunotherapy cancer drug MPDL3280A in 11 late-stage trials by the end of the year, the Swiss drugmaker's head of medical affairs for oncology, Nico Andre, said at a conference on Monday.

The Basel-based company's MPDL3280A, which is being tested in melanoma, as well as lung, bladder, kidney, bowel and blood cancers but has not yet been approved to treat any type of cancer, is the furthest developed of this class of drug. Some analysts have said such drugs could generate more than $30 billion in annual sales for the industry as a whole by 2025.

MPDL3280A will be submitted to U.S. and to European health regulators for bladder and lung cancer in the coming year, another Roche executive, Cathi Ahearn, said at the conference.

The drug belongs to a class designed to help the body's immune system fend off cancer by blocking a protein used by tumors to evade disease-fighting cells.

Other leading players in this area are Merck & Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca.

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