Roche hails another PhIII win on Tecentriq combo, reports promising kidney cancer data

Roche is pedaling hard from behind in the race for PD-1/L1 market supremacy, announcing news at market close Monday that it’s wrapped up yet another promising Phase III combo study using Tecentriq.

With heavyweights like Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb leading the market, Roche $RHHBY and its subsidiary Genentech are stepping up their game. The latest Phase III study tested Tecentriq with Avastin against advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma or kidney cancer.

Sandra Horning

The study, called IMmotion 151, met one of its co-primary endpoints of progression-free survival (PFS) in people whose disease expressed the PD-L1 protein. Those on the combo had a 26% reduced risk of disease worsening or death compared to people treated with chemotherapy drug sunitinib (median PFS: 11.2 months vs 7.7 months; p=0.02).

As for the other endpoint, the company said overall survival observations were “encouraging, but still immature.”

“This is the second positive Phase III study that includes Tecentriq and Avastin as part of a treatment regimen, providing further evidence to support the potential of this unique combination,” said Sandra Horning, Genentech’s CMO and head of global product development, in a statement. “We are encouraged that initial treatment with Tecentriq and Avastin significantly reduced the risk of disease worsening or death in people with advanced kidney cancer, while also providing more time before disease symptoms interfered with day-to-day life compared with sunitinib, a current standard of care. We look forward to discussing these results with regulatory authorities worldwide.”

Severin Schwan

This kidney cancer data follows promising Phase III data of a Tecentriq combo in lung cancer announced just months ago. The company’s closely watched Phase III IMpower150 study of a triple combo of Tecentriq, Avastin and chemo demonstrated a doubling in 12-month progression-free survival rates among a broad group of front-line lung cancer patients, setting the stage for a quick regulatory OK on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We have a real chance to be at the forefront here,” Roche CEO Severin Schwan told Reuters ahead of the data release. “Our ambition is to become a clear leader in the field of cancer immunotherapies.”

The IMmotion151 data will be presented at the 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium on Saturday, Feb 10.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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