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Roche preps kidney cancer filing for Tecentriq/Avastin combo

Says treatment reduced risk of disease worsening compared to Sutent

Roche

Armed with new phase III data, Roche is hoping to file the combination of checkpoint inhibitor Tecentriq and cancer blockbuster Avastin as a first-line treatment for renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The IMMotion151 trial pitched PD-L1 inhibitor Tecentriq (atezolizumab) and Avastin (bevacizumab) against Pfizer’s Sutent (sunitinib) - the standard first-line treatment for RCC - in previously untreated patients with inoperable locally-advanced or metastatic disease.

Roche isn’t revealing the data from the trial just yet, but says that its duo reduced the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival) versus Sutent in people whose tumours express the PD-L1 biomarker.

“We believe that the regimen of Tecentriq and Avastin may enhance the potential of the immune system in the initial treatment of advanced kidney cancer,” said Sandra Horning, Roche's chief medical officer.

“We will discuss these data with health authorities globally and hope to bring this combination forward as a potential new treatment option to patients as soon as possible.’’

It is the second study this month to report positive data with new cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq in combination Avastin - one of Roche’s top three products with sales of around $5bn in the first nine months of the year. Just last week, the company said the IMpower 150 trial of the pairing on top of chemotherapy in first-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) doubled the progression-free survival rate at 12 months.

Twinning the two drugs across multiple indications could give Roche a means of accelerating the take-up of Tecentriq as it sets off in pursuit of the first movers in the PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor category - Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) and Merck & Co’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab).

Opdivo is already approved as a second-line treatment for RCC, and failed to meet one of the goals in the late-stage CheckMate-214 trial in first-line patients in which it was combined with its CTLA4 inhibitor Yervoy (ipilimumab), although a follow-up revealed a survival benefit. Meanwhile, Keytruda is not yet approved to treat RCC but is in several clinical trials in this indication, including a phase III evaluation as a neoadjuvant therapy alongside surgery.

RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, accounting for around 90% of cases and resulting in approximately 140,000 deaths worldwide each year.

Article by
Phil Taylor

12th December 2017

From: Research

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