The new type of medicine T-DM1 as well as Perjeta that was recently approved in June, are both HER2 positive breast cancer drugs just like Herceptin developed by Genentech in the US and Roche in Switzerland.
According to the website news of BioWorld, Genentech has been studying HER2 positive cancer for 30 years and it took 10 years to develop both T-DM1 and Perjeta in the same lab as Herceptin by almost the same researchers.
Roche’s goal is to treat HER2 positive with the combination of T-DM1, Perjeta, and Herceptin – this sounds so powerful and effective!
Even now a clinical trial of a combo of Perjeta and T-DM1 is already in phase lll and a combo of Herceptin and a vaccine is in phase ll. T-DM1 seems like it will be filed in the fall.
Though HER2 positive type is aggressive with a high chance of recurrence compared with other types of breast cancer, it appears in only ¼ of all breast cancers.
I am sure that new drugs have been developed for all types of cancers, but I learned Genentech and Roche are the stars for HER2 positive patients.
Once the patent on Herceptin expires in 2014, numerous other pharmaceutical companies all over the world will start selling cheaper Herceptin, and then probably Genentech and Roche will need to sell new drugs to keep their profits. The money is always behind the scene, but as a HER2 positive patient, I appreciate that there are companies who commit to going after HER2 positive.
It was not my desire to have gotten cancer, but I am fortunate that my cancer was a breast cancer for which the new treatments with new drugs are always being developed because of the huge demands in spited of the 1/4 ratio.