Genentech’s Perjeta Significantly Extends Survival in People With
HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- December 07, 2012
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today
announced updated survival results from the Phase III CLEOPATRA study, which
showed that the combination of Perjeta^® (pertuzumab), Herceptin^®
(trastuzumab) and docetaxel chemotherapy significantly extended the lives
(overall survival) of people with previously untreated HER2-positive
metastatic breast cancer (mBC), compared to Herceptin, chemotherapy and
placebo. Results showed that the risk of death was reduced by 34 percent for
people who received Perjeta, Herceptin and chemotherapy, compared to those who
received Herceptin and chemotherapy (HR=0.66; p=0.0008). At the time of the
analysis, median overall survival had not yet been reached in people receiving
the Perjeta combination, as more than half of these people continued to
survive. Median overall survival was more than three years (37.6 months) for
people who received Herceptin and chemotherapy. Based on these data, people
receiving Herceptin and chemotherapy in CLEOPATRA have been offered the option
to receive Perjeta. No new safety signals were observed in the study.
“This treatment combination with Perjeta is the first to have significantly
extended survival compared to Herceptin and chemotherapy in people with
previously untreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer,” said Hal Barron,
M.D., chief medical officer and head, Global Product Development. “These data
further demonstrate that Perjeta is an important new medicine for people with
this aggressive disease.”
Perjeta is a personalized medicine that targets the HER2 receptor, a protein
found in high quantities on the outside of cancer cells in HER2-positive
cancers. Perjeta is believed to work in a way that is complementary to
Herceptin, as the two medicines target different places on the HER2 receptor.
In June 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Perjeta in
combination with Herceptin and docetaxel chemotherapy for the treatment of
people with HER2-positive mBC who have not received prior anti-HER2 therapy or
chemotherapy for metastatic disease, based on the results of the CLEOPATRA
study. Perjeta was approved by Swissmedic in August 2012 and in Mexico in
September 2012 for the treatment of people with HER2-positive mBC who have not
received prior therapy for their metastatic disease. Roche has submitted a
Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency
(EMA) for Perjeta for people with previously untreated HER2-positive mBC.
These final, confirmatory survival data from the CLEOPATRA study will be
presented at the 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS),
Friday, December 7, 2012 (Abstract #P5-18-26, 5-7pm CT, Exhibit Hall A-B) by
Dr. Sandra Swain, Medstar Washington Hospital Center.
About the CLEOPATRA Study
CLEOPATRA (CLinical Evaluation Of Pertuzumab And TRAstuzumab) is an
international, Phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
The study evaluated the efficacy and safety profile of Perjeta combined with
Herceptin and docetaxel chemotherapy compared to Herceptin and docetaxel
chemotherapy plus placebo in 808 people with previously untreated
HER2-positive mBC or with HER2-positive mBC that had come back after prior
therapy in the adjuvant or neoadjuvant setting.
The primary endpoint of the study was progression-free survival (PFS) as
assessed by an independent review committee. Secondary endpoints were overall
survival, PFS by investigator assessment, safety profile, overall response
rate (ORR), duration of response and time to symptom progression. PFS and
safety data from CLEOPATRA were presented at SABCS 2011 and simultaneously
published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
PFS and Safety Results:
*People who received the combination of Perjeta, Herceptin and chemotherapy
had a statistically significant 38 percent reduction in the risk of their
disease worsening or death (PFS, HR=0.62; p<0.0001) compared to people who
received Herceptin, chemotherapy and placebo.
*The median PFS improved by 6.1 months from 12.4 months for people who
received Herceptin and chemotherapy to 18.5 months for those who received
Perjeta, Herceptin and chemotherapy.
*The most common adverse events (AEs, rate greater than 30 percent) seen
with the combination of Perjeta, Herceptin and chemotherapy were diarrhea,
hair loss, low white blood cell count with or without fever, upset
stomach, fatigue, rash and peripheral neuropathy (numbness, tingling or
damage to the nerves). The most common Grade 3–4 AEs (rate greater than 2
percent) were low white blood cell count with or without fever, decrease
in a certain type of white blood cell, diarrhea, damage to the nerves,
decrease in red blood cell count, weakness and fatigue.
Perjeta is designed specifically to prevent the HER2 receptor from pairing (or
“dimerizing”) with other HER receptors (EGFR/HER1, HER3 and HER4) on the
surface of cells, a process that is believed to play a role in tumor growth
and survival. Binding of Perjeta to HER2 may also signal the body’s immune
system to destroy the cancer cells. The mechanisms of action of Perjeta and
Herceptin are believed to complement each other, as both bind to the HER2
receptor, but to different places. The combination of Perjeta, Herceptin and
docetaxel chemotherapy is thought to provide a more comprehensive blockade of
HER signaling pathways.
Genentech and Roche have spent more than 30 years studying the role of HER2 in
cancer, and Perjeta is a result of this research. A companion diagnostic test
is used to determine if a person is HER2-positive and whether treatment with
Perjeta and Herceptin is appropriate.
Perjeta Indication Statement
Perjeta^® (pertuzumab) is approved for use in combination with Herceptin^®
(trastuzumab) and docetaxel chemotherapy in people with HER2-positive breast
cancer that has spread to different parts of the body (metastatic) and who
have not received anti-HER2 therapy or chemotherapy for metastatic disease.
Important Safety Information
*Because side effects from this treatment are common, it is important to
know what side effects may happen and what symptoms patients should watch
*A patient’s doctor may stop treatment if serious side effects happen.
Patients must contact their healthcare team right away if they have
questions or are worried about any side effects
Most Serious Side Effect of Perjeta
Receiving Perjeta during pregnancy can result in the death of an unborn baby
and birth defects.
*Birth control should be used while receiving Perjeta and for six months
after a patient’s last dose of Perjeta. Patients who are breastfeeding
should talk with their doctor about either stopping breastfeeding or
*If a patient thinks she may be pregnant, she should contact her healthcare
*If a patient is exposed to Perjeta during pregnancy, she is encouraged to
enroll in the MotHER Pregnancy Registry by contacting 1-800-690-6720
Other Possible Serious Side Effects
*Heart problems: Perjeta can result in heart problems, including for those
patients without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those
patients with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure). A patient’s
doctor may run tests to monitor the patient’s heart function before and
during treatment with Perjeta
*Infusion-related reactions: Perjeta is a medicine that is delivered into a
vein through a needle. This process can cause reactions known as
infusion-related reactions. The most common infusion-related reactions
when receiving Perjeta, Herceptin, and docetaxel chemotherapy were feeling
tired, abnormal or altered taste, allergic reactions, muscle pain and
*Severe allergic reactions: Some people receiving Perjeta may have severe
allergic reactions, called hypersensitivity reactions or anaphylaxis. This
reaction may be severe, may happen quickly and may affect many areas of
*Perjeta has been shown to work only in people with HER2-positive breast
cancer. Patients must have a HER2 test to know if their breast cancer is
HER2-positive before receiving an anti-HER2 treatment, such as Perjeta
Most Common Side Effects
The most common side effects of Perjeta when given with Herceptin and
docetaxel chemotherapy are:
*Low levels of white blood cells with or without a fever
*Damage to the nerves (numbness, tingling, pain in hands/feet)
Report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Patients and caregivers may also report side effects to Genentech at (888)
Please see Perjeta full Prescribing Information including Most Serious Side
Effect for additional Important Safety Information.
Herceptin is a personalized medicine designed to specifically block the HER2
protein on the surface of some cancer cells. Based on preclinical studies,
this biologic antibody is believed to work by attaching to HER2 receptors to
stop signals that make the tumor cells grow and divide, and also by signaling
the body’s immune system to destroy the cancer cells.
Herceptin has two approved uses in metastatic breast cancer (mBC):
*Herceptin in combination with the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel is approved
for the first-line treatment of HER2-positive mBC.
*Herceptin alone is approved for the treatment of HER2-positive mBC in
patients who have received one or more chemotherapy regimens for
Important Safety Information
Herceptin treatment can result in heart problems, including for those patients
without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those patients with
symptoms (such as congestive heart failure). One patient died in an adjuvant
breast cancer trial from significantly weakened heart muscle. The risk and
seriousness of these heart problems were highest in patients who received both
Herceptin and a certain type of chemotherapy (anthracycline).
Before taking the first dose of Herceptin and during treatment, a patient’s
doctor should check to see if there are any health conditions that may
increase the patient’s chance of having serious heart problems. This includes
a review of the patient’s health history and tests to see how well the heart
muscle is working. These tests may include an echocardiogram or a multigated
acquisition (MUGA) scan. Some early-stage breast cancer patients may also need
to have a test done after they have finished taking Herceptin to see how well
their heart muscle is working.
Some patients have had serious infusion reactions and lung problems; fatal
infusion reactions have been reported. These reactions usually occur during or
within 24 hours of receiving Herceptin.
The patient’s doctor may need to completely stop Herceptin treatment if the
patient has a severe allergic reaction, swelling, lung problems, inflammation
of the lung or severe shortness of breath.
Herceptin can cause harm to the fetus (unborn baby), and in some cases death
to the fetus, when taken by a pregnant woman. Women who could become pregnant
need to use effective birth control methods during Herceptin treatment and for
at least six months after treatment with Herceptin. Nursing mothers treated
with Herceptin should discontinue nursing or discontinue Herceptin.
Worsening of low white blood cell counts associated with chemotherapy has also
Patients must have a HER2 test to determine if their breast cancer is
HER2-positive before using Herceptin, as benefit has only been shown in
patients who are HER2-positive.
The most common side effects associated with Herceptin in patients with breast
cancer are fever, nausea, vomiting, infusion reactions, diarrhea, infections,
increased cough, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, rash, low white and
red blood cells and muscle pain.
Because everyone is different, it is not possible to predict what side effects
any one patient will have. Patients with questions or concerns about side
effects should talk to their doctor.
Patients should read the Herceptin Full Prescribing Information including
Boxed WARNINGS, at http://www.herceptin.com.
About Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. According to
the American Cancer Society, approximately 229,000 people will be diagnosed
with breast cancer, and 40,000 will die from the disease in 2012. In
HER2-positive breast cancer, increased quantities of the Human Epidermal
growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2) are present on the surface of the tumor cells.
This is known as “HER2 positivity” and affects approximately 25 percent of
people with breast cancer. HER2-positive cancer is a particularly aggressive
form of breast cancer.
About Genentech Access Solutions
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who need our medicines. Our knowledgeable and experienced Specialists can help
patients and medical practices navigate the access and reimbursement process
and provide assistance to eligible patients in the United States who do not
have insurance coverage or who cannot afford their out-of-pocket co-pay costs.
For more information, please visit http://www.GenentechAccessSolutions.com.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company
that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat
patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a
member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco,
California. For additional information about the company, please visit
Susan Willson, 650-467-6800
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