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Roche's subcutaneous Herceptin gets EU green light

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roche said on Friday that European regulators had given a green light to a new formulation of its breast cancer drug Herceptin, which it hopes will help extend the medicine's shelf life.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that its experts had recommended approval of a new injectable version of Herceptin, which cuts down treatment time to just two to five minutes. It currently takes between 30 to 90 minutes to administer the drug intravenously.

Herceptin, known generically as trastuzumab, is used as a treatment for around a quarter of breast cancer patients who have tumors that generate a protein called HER2, which tends to make their disease more aggressive.

Recommendations for marketing approval by the agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) are normally endorsed by the European Commission within a couple of months.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley, editing by Tom Miles)

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