Healthcare Industry News:  chronic kidney disease 


 News Release - April 20, 2006

Roche Submits Application with FDA to Market C.E.R.A. for the Treatment of Renal Anemia

Submission Based On Results from Six Pivotal Phase III Clinical Trials with Dialysis and Non-Dialysis CKD Patients

NUTLEY, N.J., April 20 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Roche announced today it has submitted a Biological License Application (BLA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market C.E.R.A. for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) including patients on dialysis and not on dialysis.

C.E.R.A., an innovative investigational anti-anemia agent, is the first and only continuous erythropoietin receptor activator. This means that the activity of C.E.R.A. at the receptor sites involved in stimulating red blood cell production is different from what has been observed for erythropoietin, and this distinct molecular interaction is believed to have a role in providing targeted, stable and sustained control of anemia. It is the only anti-anemia treatment to have ever been studied at extended dosing intervals up to once every four weeks for its initial filing.

"The BLA filing for C.E.R.A. brings us another step closer to making this important therapy available to the millions of CKD patients in the United States who are at risk for the devastating effects of anemia," said George Abercrombie, president and chief executive officer, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. "We believe C.E.R.A. will provide these CKD patients with sustained control of anemia and convenient extended dosing intervals."

The BLA submission is based on the largest clinical program ever undertaken for a drug treating renal anemia, with 10 clinical trials involving more than 2,700 patients from 29 countries. It included results from six Phase III trials of both intravenous and subcutaneous C.E.R.A. administered up to once every four weeks. Roche recently successfully completed the last two pivotal Phase III clinical trials for C.E.R.A. that examined correction of anemia in untreated patients on dialysis and not on dialysis.

The most frequently reported adverse events were hypertension, diarrhea, nasopharyngitis, headache and upper respiratory tract infection.

About Anemia

There are approximately 530,000 US CKD patients not on dialysis and 324,000 US patients on dialysis who suffer from anemia. Anemia refers to patients experiencing a lower than normal level of red blood cells or the hemoglobin in them. Hemoglobin enables red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body and therefore, when the body is starved of the oxygen it requires, extreme fatigue sets in along with dizziness, pale skin and other symptoms. Other serious clinical complications will appear as the body -- in particular, the heart -- works harder to compensate for the lack of oxygen.

About Roche

Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), based in Nutley, N.J., is the U.S. pharmaceuticals headquarters of the Roche Group, one of the world's leading research-oriented healthcare groups with core businesses in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. For more than 100 years, the Roche Group has been committed to developing innovative products and services that address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, thus enhancing people's health and quality of life. An employer of choice, in 2005, Roche was named one of Fortune magazine's Best Companies to Work For in America, one of the Top 20 Employers (Science magazine), ranked as the No. 3 Best Company to Work For in NJ (NJ Biz magazine), the No. 1 Company to Sell For (Selling Power), and one of AARP's Top Companies for Older Workers. For additional information about the U.S. pharmaceuticals business, visit our websites: or

Source: Hoffmann-La Roche

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