#ASCO21: Novartis keeps building out survival data for Kisqali, hoping to add pressure on Pfizer's Ibrance
As Novartis’ Kisqali for breast cancer trails Pfizer’s Ibrance in sales, the Swiss biopharma continues to trot out long-term survival data it hopes will flesh out the drug’s overall profile.
Ahead of #ASCO21 this weekend, Novartis teased out more data for the CDK4/6 inhibitor for postmenopausal HR-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer patients. With more than four years of follow-up, Kisqali in combination with AstraZeneca’s Faslodex provided more than a year of extra survival benefit compared to Faslodex alone.
“As overall survival data mature, we’re proud that Kisqali continues to distinguish itself, offering more life for both younger and older women living with metastatic breast cancer,” president of oncology Susanne Schaffert said in a statement.
The data come from an exploratory analysis roughly 17 months after the last update from this specific trial, part of a large program Novartis is using to continue evaluating Kisqali. Novartis noted that the added 12 months of survival was something the drug is continuing to show over several follow-ups in this population.
At a median of 56.3 months, the median overall survival for the combo therapy proved to be 53.7 months, compared to 41.5 months in the control arm. In the first-line setting, median OS was not reached for the combo, while Faslodex alone resulted in a median of 51.8 months, Novartis said.
Then, in the second-line setting, the Kisqali combination again beat out the control, with median OS figures clocking in at 39.7 months to 33.7 months. The need for chemotherapy was also delayed to at least four years for the combo arm, compared to 28.8 months among Faslodex patients.
Wednesday’s results come about six months after Novartis revealed Kisqali data from a separate trial in premenopausal women, also looking at HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer patients. Those data demonstrated a median of 11 extra months to live over endocrine therapy alone.
It’s part of a data package Novartis says keeps producing unprecedented survival results. The pharma touted the premenopausal results as the longest survival rate of any drug in that indication, and Wednesday’s data were described the same way.
On the whole, Novartis is looking to continue eating into the Ibrance pie and moved closer to that goal in 2020. Kisqali tallied $870 million in sales last year, good for a 45% increase in sales compared to 2019. But Ibrance in the same time frame pulled in more than $5 billion in sales, growing at a less stark but still impressive 9%.