Genentech pharmaceutical Inc, maker of Avastin, Xolair, Lucentis, Rituxan
September 24 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Genentech has made gains as oncology franchise among oncologists in 2015, as evidenced by higher scores across key performance drivers, especially research and development (R&D) and developing beneficial products. Celgene and Amgen also show gains among oncologists, while Novartis remains a leader among hematologists.

Genentech is a drug company.

2007 - Genentech Inc's asthma drug Xolair should carry the strongest warning possible about the drug's risk of a serious reaction known as anaphylaxis,. The Food and Drug Administration said anaphylaxis could be delayed up to 24 hours after patients take the drug, also known as omalizumab. The agency added that doctors and patients should be prepared to treat the reaction, which can cause breathing problems, fainting and hives.

2007 - Genentech Inc. has sent a letter alerting eye doctors to the risk of stroke from Lucentis, its drug for treating age-related macular degeneration. The letter was a "proactive effort" to advise doctors that an interim analysis of a 5,000-patient trial shows that 1.2 percent of patients given a 0.5-milligram dose of the drug suffered a stroke, compared with 0.3 percent of patients given a lower 0.3-mg dose. Patients who had a previous stroke appear to be at greater risk of another stroke. Since its launch in June, 2007, Lucentis has come to dominate the market for treatment of the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, posting sales in 2006 of $380 million.

2006 - Two lupus patients died from a rare brain infection after taking the Genentech and Biogen Idec drug Rituxan. Rituxan, authorized for lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, is not approved for treating lupus but doctors sometimes prescribe it for that use. Both patients died from a brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, the FDA said. The agency urged doctors to discuss the chances of PML with Rituxan patients, saying there is no known treatment. Rituxan's prescribing instructions already include information about reports of several types of viral infections, including PML, that became active again or worsened in cancer patients taking Rituxan.