Roche Acquired drug Avastin fails cancer study, shares fall

Shares of Roche Holding’s were slammed Tuesday after its acquired Genentech Avastin drug for cancer failed study in an effort to lower the risk of the colon- cancer.

“We remain fully committed to the ongoing Avastin adjuvant programs in early-stage colon, breast and lung cancers, SVP” Hal Barron, M.D., Development and chief medical officer of Genentech said.

It could still make about $6.8 billion (8.0 billion in Swiss) to $7.7 billion (9.0 billion Swiss) by 2011 by selling and treating metastasized cancers, said William M.Burns, CEO of Roche's Pharmaceuticals Division, and could still be active in patients with early-stage colon cancer.

The failure doesn't mean that Roche overpaid for San Francisco-based Genentech. We always factored in the entire transaction, Burn said. It's a much broader, strategic deal than one study.

Roche shares fell 8.5 percent or 13 Swiss Franc at 140.4 francs in Zurich, the biggest loss ever for 20 years.