Roche scores second success with blockbuster Tecentriq


Previously Tecentriq was the first immune-oncology drug to enter the bladder cancer market and now from its phase three trial results it is the first product that can be used in combination with chemotherapy. With it being more successful in reducing risk of disease progression and death among patients compared to using stand-alone chemotherapy. Roche is pleased with these results especially in regard to extending patients lives but it will wait until patient data matures before making any claims.

This result secures a first for a phase three first line study for the PD-1/PD-L1 class in bladder cancer. When Tecentriq was released in 2016, it became the third drug to hit the bladder cancer market and was given a conditional approval based on its tumor response rate results. It came as a huge surprise when just one year later, a study showed that it failed to prolong patients lives, thus jeopardizing the conditional approval. The FDA ultimately agreed to keeping the approval and these first line study results should come as a relief for Roche, to support FDA’s trust.

More good news has rolled around for Roche, as its former blockbuster Avastin has been approved in a chemo-combo cocktail for non-small cell lung cancer market, however this does set up a showdown with Merck’s formidable Keytruda.

Roche is looking ahead, to capitalize on Tecentriq’s bladder cancer success by pursuing four other phase three tests, analyzing its efficacy both alone and with other combinations.

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