Roche’s debut immunotherapy may gain approval post positive trials
Category: #health  By Pankaj Singh  Date: 2018-06-26
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Roche’s debut immunotherapy may gain approval post positive trials

The Swiss drugmaker Roche on Monday revealed that the trials of their immunotherapy mixture, consisting of Tecentriq combined with chemotherapy, showed positive survival results. Roche hopes that this immunotherapy mixture will be the first of its kind to be approved as initial treatment for an aggressive type of lung cancer, giving Roche a first-mover advantage.

The company did not release specific data from the study, named IMpower 133, but said the results were clinically meaningful and Roche would disclose the numbers at a medical conference soon.

Sources at the company stated that Tecentriq in combination with chemotherapy significantly enhanced the survival rate of patients having untreated extensive-stage small cell lung cancer, as compared to standalone chemotherapy.

As per records, Small cell lung cancer constitutes 10% to 15% of all lung cancers. With Merck’s immunotherapy medicine Keytruda being more successful in other forms of lung cancer, Roche is continuously working to demonstrate Tecentriq’s advantages in the rarer type of cancers.

Sandra Horning, the Chief Medical Officer at Roche, confirmed that the Tecentriq trials are the first immunotherapy-based combination in preliminary treatment of small-cell lung cancer in extensive stage to show positive Phase III survival results. The combination also helped patients survive longer without their disease worsening any further, she added.

Tecentriq sales amounted to 139 million Swiss francs (USD 140 million) during the first quarter, according to records. These numbers are just one tenth of revenues earned by Keytruda and other similar type of immunotherapies. Analysts at Baader Helvea estimate that if the aforementioned immunotherapy treatment by Roche is approved, Tecentriq sales could go up by USD 1.5 billion. Post the announcement, the shares of Roche also witnessed a 1.1% increase, as per pre-market indications.

Tecentriq forms a major part of Roche’s strategy for introducing new products to counter the plunging sales of its oncology portfolio, with patent losses resulting into availability of cheaper copies in the market.



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Pankaj Singh

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Pankaj Singh

Pankaj Singh Develops content for Market Size Forecasters, Algosonline, and a couple of other platforms. A Post Graduate in Management by qualification, he worked as an underwriter in the UK insurance domain before deciding to switch his field of profession. With exp...

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