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Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) has announced positive results, from the phase3 GALLIUM study, being conducted by its member company, Genentech. The study focuses on the treatment of patients with untreated follicular lymphoma, using Gazyva. The aim of the study was to determine the efficacy and safety of the drug, when used with and without chemotherapy. The results were compared with those of Rituxan, under the same conditions.

Although the adverse effects were similar for both drugs, but the interim-analysis did show that Gazyva did reduce the risk of worsening of the disease and even death. The company has stated that it intends to present data from the GALLIUM study, at an upcoming medical conference and as well as submit it to the medical authorities for approval. The CMO at Genentech, Sandra Horning, clarified that there is a lack of good initial treatment options for follicular lymphoma and the disease worsens with each relapse. She also remarked that this was the second study, in which Gazyva showed superiority over Rituxan.

However, as Roche continues to make progress with its drug trials, the company’s rival Novartis, has announced that it would be willing to sell its stake in Roche, worth $14 billion, without demanding a premium. Unidentified sources have indicated that Novartis plans to raise cash for other deals. Initially, the stake in Roche had been increased, in order to merge the two companies, a move which was never executed.

RHHBY has also disclosed that it has obtained FDA approval for testing its cytomegalovirus (CMV), in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. The test is the very first of its kind and adheres to the WHO international standards. Uwe Oberlaender, the Head of Roche’s molecular diagnostics, stated that the approval would equip clinicians and patients with another tool to fight CMV. He also remarked that CMV was the most important viral infection in stem cell transplants.

Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) completed the May 27 trading session, with a gain of 3.36%, in its share value, to reach a close at $33.20, after having a trade volume of 1.16 million.

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