Data from a Phase III study which will be presented at an American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting (ASCO) has shown that Xeloda, along with chemotherapy, cisplatin, was found to be as effective as the intravenous chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil.
This oral drug would significantly decrease the amount of treatment time for patients. And this in turn could prompt healthcare providers to prescribe it over the cheaper although more time-consuming treatment with intravenous chemotherapy, supporting the higher sales potential view of Xeloda.
Currently patients spend almost five days in every three weeks in hospital to receive treatment. Xeloda could reduce that amount of time to only one day, helping patients to live as normally as possible.
Roche claims that gastric cancer has become the fourth commonly diagnosed cancer with a high fatality rate, common more in men than in women, especially among the age group of over 55.
Xeloda already generated 2005 turnover of 796 million francs and is expected to produce a turnover of 2.4 billion francs by 2010, according to Vontobel analyst, Guisep Demont.
Roche has plans of filing a regulatory approval to treat advanced gastric cancer worldwide.
Xeloda has already been licensed in over 90 countries, with approval to treat colorectal cancer that has spread, and even as a treatment for post-surgery colon cancer in some countries. With various combinations the drug has also been used for forms of breast cancer.