Detailed results released from Bayer, Onyx’s Nexavar advanced breast cancer study

An analyst said Monday that clinical trial data showed that patients with advanced breast cancer receiving Bayer and Onyx’s Nexavar (sorafenib), in combination with Roche’s Xeloda (capecitabine), had a 74-percent improvement in time to cancer progression compared to Xeloda plus placebo. Robert W. Baird analyst Christopher Raymond called the mid-stage results "quite striking," and added that the "data compare quite favourably to other trials in this setting."

The detailed results, which were released ahead of a presentation to be held later this week at the ECCO/ESMO conference, indicated that Nexavar plus Xeloda extended progression-free survival by 6.4 months in patients with advanced breast cancer, compared with 4.1 months for those receiving Xeloda plus placebo. Raymond noted that the results, which were initially reported in July, could prompt some physicians to prescribe the drug combination off label.

Also commenting on the news, Canaccord Adams analyst George Farmer stated that the study data are “demonstrably better than the 1.5-month hurdle we believed was necessary for the Street to gain confidence in the potential utility of this combo regimen.” Additionally, the analyst expects that the combination of Xeloda and Nexavar could become “a new all-oral standard of care” for metastatic breast cancer.

Nexavar, which Farmer predicted could see additional sales of $1.5 billion by 2016, is approved in more than 70 countries to treat patients with kidney and liver cancer.

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