Roche flags ear­ly suc­cess for Tecen­triq com­bos, hus­tles in­to PhI­I­Is

Af­ter wrap­ping a pair of ear­ly-stage com­bi­na­tion stud­ies for melanoma us­ing its PD-L1 check­point drug Tecen­triq (ate­zolizum­ab), Roche now plans to hus­tle straight in­to Phase III for each of them as it looks to con­tin­ue to ramp up its grow­ing can­cer fran­chise in the face of some tough com­pe­ti­tion from Mer­ck and Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb.

Com­bin­ing Tecen­triq with its MEK in­hibitor Cotel­lic along with the BRAF in­hibitor Zelb­o­raf de­liv­ered an 83% over­all re­sponse rate in their Phase Ib, with 3 of 24 — out of 29 to­tal pre­vi­ous­ly un­treat­ed pa­tients with BRAF mu­ta­tion-pos­i­tive melanoma — see­ing com­plete re­spons­es. There were no grade 5 ad­verse events in the study, but 40% did ex­pe­ri­ence a grade 3 or 4 AE with the triple com­bo.

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Senior Associate

Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Durham, NC, USA