BASEL, Switzerland, September 12 /PRNewswire/ --

- Avastin Shows Unprecedented Patient Benefits Regardless of K-Ras Status, Age and Chemotherapy Choice

Avastin's (bevacizumab) essential role in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), the world's second most common cancer, was strengthened at the 33rd European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting with a compelling data set including:

- the final overall survival analysis of a 2,000 patient community-based study - further analyses of the Avastin and cetuximab combination study highlighting K-Ras findings - strong and consistent outcome for elderly patients on Avastin-based therapy

Long-term overall survival reported from First BEAT (1)

The long term benefits of Avastin use in combination with chemotherapy were confirmed in the 1,965 patient First BEAT study, which combined Avastin with commonly used chemotherapies in mCRC. First BEAT data confirmed:

- Avastin-based therapy delivers a median overall survival benefit of approximately two years (22.7 months). - Patients who received Avastin plus chemotherapy and underwent complete resection (surgical removal) of their tumor had double the chance of surviving at 2 years compared to those who did not (89% versus 44%, respectively). - Importantly, long-term Avastin treatment did not increase the risk of patients suffering from Avastin-specific side effects, which were consistent with those reported in other clinical trials.

K-Ras findings from Avastin and cetuximab combination study to be presented (2)

On September 14, key K-Ras findings will be presented at ESMO on Avastin-based treatment plus or minus cetuximab from the CAIRO-2 study. These findings are expected to complement the recently reported data confirming that Avastin is the only biologic that significantly improves survival in patients with mCRC regardless of the patient's K-Ras gene mutation status.

- Specifically, the data showed that patients with the normal (wildtype) K-Ras gene had an 82% increase in the time they lived without their disease getting worse and a 57% improvement in overall survival when given Avastin and chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone. - Similarly, Avastin-based therapy improved outcomes in patients with mutated K-Ras compared to chemotherapy alone by increasing the time patients live without their disease getting worse by 69% and extending life by 46%.

Avastin's survival benefit in mCRC is unmatched in patients with either normal or mutated K-Ras. Up to 50% of patients will have a mutated form of K-Ras, where many other treatments have been shown to provide no benefit.

Age does not matter; Avastin works in all patients (3)

A new analysis of 4 key trials which included more than 3,000 patients showed that the benefits of Avastin-based therapy are independent of age. Considering that the majority of colorectal cancer patients are over 65 years in age, the magnitude of this finding becomes clear. The analysis demonstrated:

- Patients on Avastin-based therapy that were under 65 years old had a 70% increased chance of being alive without their disease advancing compared to those on chemotherapy alone. If the patient was 65 or older this chance increased slightly to 72%. - Furthermore, these findings were not impacted by the physician's choice of chemotherapy to use with Avastin.

In January 2008, Avastin received a broad label in the EU allowing it to be used in combination with fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy for first and later treatment lines in patients with mCRC. This means that virtually all patients with metastatic colorectal cancer have access to Avastin's benefits.

Presentation of key data - further details: 1. E. Van Custem et Safety and efficacy of September 14 al bevacizumab plus standard first-line chemotherapy in 12.30 - 13.30 patients with mCRC: First BEAT (CET) Poster area A 2. J.Tol et al Randomized phase III study of September 14 capecitabine, oxaliplatin and bevacizumab with or without 12.30 - 13.30 cetuximab in advanced CRC, the (CET) CAIRO-2 study of Dutch CRC group Poster area A 3. J. Cassidy et al Effect of bevacizumab in September 14 patientsover 65 years of age with mCRC 12.30 - 13.30 (CET) Poster area A

Additional information (video clips about Avastin in broadcast standard, free of charge)

For more information please contact: Roche, Erica Bersin, +41-79-618-7672,; Galliard Healthcare, Dominic Elliston, +44-20-7663-2266,

For more information please contact: Roche, Erica Bersin, +41-79-618-7672,; Galliard Healthcare, Dominic Elliston, +44-20-7663-2266,