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Another Tecentriq win for Roche as Avastin combo boosts survival

The Swiss pharma group reported a 38% improvement in PFS in NSCLC patients

Roche

Roche has posted its second piece of positive news for Tecentriq in first-line lung cancer in a matter of days, with the drug prolonging survival when paired with Avastin and chemotherapy.

The Swiss pharma group reported a 38% improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) data in the IMpower150 trial of Tecentriq (atezolizumab) and Avastin (bevacizumab) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) last November, but now has the overall survival data it was hoping for to firm up the combination’s value in the front-line treatment setting.

Roche isn’t divulging the overall survival figures just yet, but said the additional data from the trial will be submitted to the EMA and FDA in the hope of “bringing the treatment option to patients as soon as possible”. The 1,200 patient trial compared PD-L1 inhibitor Tecentriq with VEGF inhibitor Avastin as a combination as well as each drug individually on top of carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy.

The company says that the combination was significantly more effective at extending survival than Avastin, but there was no difference between the Tecentriq and Avastin groups on the measure. It said the study will “continue as planned to the final analysis”.

Roche is hoping to replace Merck & Co/MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) with Tecentriq as the cornerstone of first-line NSCLC immunotherapy, unlocking one of the largest markets for cancer drugs, and will need robust data to present its drug as an effective alternative. To that end it has other phase III trials ongoing that it hopes will show the benefit of its drug alongside additional chemotherapy regimens that are most used in previously-untreated NSCLC patients.

Analysts at Jefferies said they are reserving judgment on that score for now until the data is presented at an upcoming medical conference, but said the win on both PFS and overall survival was “highly encouraging”.

Just last week, the company reported data from the IMpower131 trial showing that combining Tecentriq with standard first-line chemotherapy in patients with the squamous form of advanced NSCLC resulted in improved PFS, opening up a $1bn-plus market opportunity for the drug. Overall survival data from that trial is due later this year.

Tecentriq is currently approved for previously-treated NSCLC patients and also as a second-line therapy for metastatic urothelial carcinoma, a form of bladder cancer.

Article by
Phil Taylor

27th March 2018

From: Research

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