BASEL, Switzerland, May 31 /PRNewswire/ — Avastin (bevacizumab),

significantly improves the time patients with metastatic breast cancer live

without their disease getting worse (“progression-free survival”) when

combined with a commonly used chemotherapy called docetaxel (Taxotere),

compared with docetaxel alone. These findings were presented for the first

time today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in

Chicago. This is the second large phase III trial that met its primary

endpoint by showing that Avastin provides a significant improvement in

progression-free survival in HER 2 negative metastatic breast cancer

patients. This follows the recently published landmark E2100 study (Avastin

plus paclitaxel versus paclitaxel alone).

The results of the phase III “Avastin and Docetaxel” (“AVADO”, BO17708)

study showed that the combination of Avastin and docetaxel resulted in:

— Up to a 64% increase in a patient’s chance of being alive without

disease progression compared to docetaxel alone.

— Up to two thirds of patients (63%) experiencing major shrinkage of

their tumor, which is unprecedented.

— No new safety signals related to Avastin. Furthermore, Avastin did not

have a major impact on the known toxicity profile of docetaxel.

Principal investigator for AVADO, Dr. David Miles, medical oncologist,

Mount Vernon Hospital, UK said: “This is the second large phase III study

to confirm that Avastin extends the time in which patients live without

disease progression in combination with a widely used chemotherapy agent.

Importantly this study has confirmed that Avastin can be used with

taxane-based chemotherapy to provide a meaningful benefit for patients with

metastatic breast cancer.”

Two doses of Avastin were investigated in the study (7.5 and 15 mg/kg

given every three weeks). The AVADO study was not powered to detect a

difference in efficacy between the two doses, however, there was a

numerical advantage for efficacy parameters in favor of the 15 mg/kg dose

arm. These results, and those of the other landmark study (E2100), support

use of this dose (5mg/kg/week). Overall survival data are still immature at

present and are expected in 2009.

This second large phase III trial follows the recently published E2100

study. Results from E2100 formed the basis of European Commission approval

and FDA accelerated approval of Avastin in combination with the widely used

chemotherapy paclitaxel for the first-line treatment of metastatic (HER-2

negative) breast cancer in March 2007 and February 2008 respectively. Study

E2100 showed that the addition of Avastin to paclitaxel doubled patients’

chance of being alive without disease progression compared to paclitaxel

alone.

Each year more than one million women are diagnosed with breast cancer

leading to over 400,000 deaths globally.

About the AVADO study

AVADO is an international phase III trial which randomized 736 patients

who did not receive previous chemotherapy for their metastatic breast

cancer to one of three groups;

— Avastin 7.5 mg/kg every 3 weeks in combination with docetaxel

— Avastin 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks in combination with docetaxel

— docetaxel + placebo as control arm

The primary objective of the study was to demonstrate superiority in

progression-free survival of both Avastin containing treatment arms

compared to the control arm. Secondary endpoints for the study included

response rate, duration of response, time to treatment failure, overall

survival, quality of life, safety and tolerability.

Additional information

To access video clips about Avastin, in broadcast standard, free of

charge, please go to: http://www.thenewsmarket.com