Investor Update

Basel, 24 February 2010

European Medicines Agency grants positive opinion for Xeloda in combination with oxaliplatin for the adjuvant treatment of early colon cancer

Patients taking Xeloda-containing regimen live disease-free for longer

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that Xeloda (capecitabine) in combination with oxaliplatin (a combination known as XELOX) has been recommended by the Committee on Human Medicinal Products (CHMP) for the adjuvant (post-surgery) treatment of patients with early colon cancer. The CHMP positive recommendation was based on results from the phase III pivotal NO16968 (XELOXA) study, one of the largest studies of patients with stage III (early) colon cancer, which showed that patients taking XELOX immediately after surgery lived disease-free for longer compared to those treated with the chemotherapy regimen 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (5-FU/LV).1

Xeloda monotherapy is already approved worldwide for use immediately after surgery in patients with colon cancer, and has provided significant benefit to thousands of people. Xeloda tablets can be taken by patients in their own home, reducing the burden of frequent hospital or clinic visits.

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death across all tumour types in Europe,2 and is the third most commonly reported cancer in the world.3

About the NO16968 study

The NO16968 trial (XELOXA) is a randomised, phase III study of XELOX (oral Xeloda in combination with intravenous oxaliplatin) versus 5-FU/LV as adjuvant therapy for patients with stage III colon cancer who have undergone surgery. The study included 1886 patients and was conducted at 226 study sites across 29 countries. The primary objective of the study was to assess the superiority of XELOX versus 5-FU/LV in terms of 3 year disease-free survival (DFS). The trial demonstrated that XELOX offered significantly superior DFS at 3, 4 and 5 years.

DFS3-year4-year5-year
XELOX 71.00%68.40%66.00%
5-FU/LV67%62.30%60.00%

(HR 0.80, p=0.0045)

About Xeloda (capecitabine)

Xeloda (capecitabine) is a highly effective targeted oral chemotherapy offering patients a survival advantage when taken on its own or in combination with other anticancer drugs. Xeloda uniquely activates the cancer-killing agent 5-FU (5-fluorouracil) directly inside the cancer cells. Xeloda tablets can be taken by patients in their own home, reducing the number of hospital or clinic visits.

Licensed and marketed by Roche in more than 100 countries worldwide, Xeloda has over 11 years proven clinical experience providing an effective and flexible treatment option to over 1.8 million people with cancer. Xeloda is currently approved in:

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

  • Monotherapy first-line (US , EU and ROW) – 2001
  • In combination with any chemotherapy in all lines of treatment with or without Avastin (EU/ROW) – 2008
  • In combination with oxaliplatin for the treatment of patients with advanced or refractory colorectal cancer who are not candidates for curative surgery (Japan) – 2009

Adjuvant Colon Cancer

  • Monotherapy (US & EU) – 2005
  • Monotherapy (Japan) – 2007

Advanced Gastric Cancer

  • First-line treatment (South Korea) – 2002
  • In combination with platinum-based chemotherapy first-line (EU and ROW) – 2007

Metastatic Breast Cancer

  • Monotherapy first-line in patients with tumours resistant to taxanes and anthracyclines – (US) 1998 and (EU) 2002
  • In combination with docetaxel in patients whose disease has progressed following iv chemotherapy with anthracyclines – (US) 2001 and (EU) 2002
  • In patients with inoperable or recurrent breast cancer – (Japan) 2003

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2009, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and invested almost 10 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 49.1 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

References:
1) Haller D et al. European Journal of Cancer Supplements, Vol. 7, No 3, September 2009, Page 4 (abstract 5LBA)
2) Ferlay J et al. Ann Oncol 2007; 18:581-92
3) Parkin DM et al. CA cancer J Clin 2005; 55:74-108