From: Reuters
Published February 29, 2008 01:59 AM

Japan clears Herceptin for breast cancer: Roche

ZURICH (Reuters) - Japan's health authorities have approved Roche's cancer drug Herceptin for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday.

HER2-positive breast cancer affects approximately 20 to 30 percent of women with breast cancer, the most common cancer among women worldwide, Roche said.

Each year more than 1 million new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed worldwide, and nearly 400,000 people will die of the disease annually, the firm said.

Herceptin, a humanized antibody, designed to target and block the function of HER2, a protein produced by a specific gene with cancer-causing potential, is marketed by Roche's subsidiary Chugai Pharmaceuticals in Japan.

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(Reporting by Sven Egenter; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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