Roche’s APHINITY results in high-risk breast cancer subset still unlikely to preserve original enthusiasm

06 Jun 2017

Roche’s (VTX:ROG) slim benefit with Perjeta (pertuzumab) in the APHINITY trial in Her2+ breast cancer has experts predicting a smaller than anticipated market use in the adjuvant setting including the more hopeful higher risk subset.

Roche had earlier announced the trial reaching its primary endpoint on 2 March, leading to an upward share price movement of 6.5% and expectations of Perjeta being added to the standard of care -- Roche’s (VTX:ROG) Herceptin (trastuzumab) and chemotherapy -- for adjuvant therapy in Her2+ patients.

However, full results presented at the ASCO meeting on Monday (5 June) -- showing a 0.9% difference in the two study arms and deemed statistically significant but a small clinical impact -- has experts projecting a dimmer outlook on the drug’s potential for being widely integrated into standard of care.

The company has highlighted the benefit seen in the node-positive and estrogen-receptor (ER) negative patient subgroups, and while some experts agreed to the benefit, others were not as convinced.

Roche’s share price dropped by 8% upon the APHINITY results, as the drug was projected to hit sales of USD 5.5bn by 2022 before the results were released.

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