FDA Approves Avastin for the Most Common Type of Kidney Cancer

August 4, 2009

The US FDA has approved Genentech's Avastin (bevacizumab) plus interferon-alfa for people with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Genentech's Avastin (bevacizumab) plus interferon-alfa for people with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.

This FDA approval is based on data from a Phase 3 study of patients with previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The study showed patients who received Avastin plus interferon-alfa lived 10.2 months without disease progression compared with 5.4 months for those who received interferon-alfa alone.

Avastin is a biologic antibody designed to specifically bind to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that plays an important role throughout the lifecycle of a tumor to develop and maintain blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. Avastin is designed to interfere with the blood supply to a tumor by directly binding to the VEGF protein to prevent interactions with receptors on blood vessel cells. Avastin does not bind to receptors on normal or cancer cells.

Avastin was the first anti-angiogenesis therapy approved by the FDA. Avastin is also indicated for the first- or second-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer plus intravenous 5-FU based chemotherapy and for the first-line treatment of unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent, or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer.