EU regulators approve use of Roche's Tecentriq, Avastin combination with chemotherapy for first-line lung cancer

Roche announced Friday that the European Commission authorised Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab) and chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of adults with metastatic non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer. The approval, which follows similar clearances in the US and Japan last year, was based on data from the Phase III IMpower150 trial.

Sandra Horning, Roche's head of global product development, remarked "this approval includes EGFR mutant or ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer after failure of a targeted therapy marking a first for this subgroup of patients."

Results from the IMpower150 study showed that Tecentriq in combination with Avastin and chemotherapy helped people live significantly longer, compared with Avastin and chemotherapy, with median overall survival in the two groups of 19.8 months and 14.9 months, respectively. Further, Tecentriq in combination with Avastin and chemotherapy reduced the risk of disease worsening or death by 41 percent, compared with Avastin and chemotherapy.

Tecentriq is also approved in the EU for people with previously treated metastatic NSCLC and for certain types of untreated or previously treated metastatic urothelial carcinoma. Sales of the PD-L1 inhibitor reached 248 million Swiss francs ($246 million) in the fourth quarter, up 88 percent year-over-year.

For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Tecentriq joins Keytruda in first-line NSCLC, but can it compete? Also, read KOL Views Results: Leading oncologist says Roche would have to get creative with Tecentriq to compete in 1L NSCLC.

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