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Local biotech’s cancer drug produced bad test results

News that a cancer drug produced by Genentech has had some bad test results should not affect plans at a major manufacturing plant in Oceanside. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

It sounds like deja vu. Last year a drug to be produced at the $400 million manufacturing plant in Oceanside was pulled by the FDA after several subjects in final testing died. But news of seven deaths in trials of Genentech's cancer drug Avastin does not affect plans to manufacture the drug at the Oceanside plant, according to Christina Becker of Genentech. She says will Avastin is still approved for advanced colorectal cancer patients.

AVASTIN: "And we'll be filing with the FDA this year to expand that indication to metastatic breast cancer, so that is not changing at all. The plant should be up and running in 2007."

Becker says the patients who died were using Avastin in combination with another drug.

Genentech's Oceanside plant employs several hundred people, and biotech courses at local college are preparing students to take new manufacturing jobs there next year. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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