Roche announced that the US FDA has approved Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin® (bevacizumab) for the treatment of people with unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have not received prior systemic therapy.
“We’re excited that today’s approval of Tecentriq in combination with Avastin for unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma brings a cancer immunotherapy option to people with this aggressive form of liver cancer,” said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development. “The application was reviewed under the FDA’s Real-Time Oncology Review pilot and Project Orbis initiative, helping to bring this new treatment option rapidly to patients in the United States and around the world.”
“The results of the IMbrave150 study are really transformative for patients with advanced liver cancer, one of the few cancers with a rising death rate and limited options in the first-line setting,” said Dr Richard Finn, Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Director of the Signal Transduction and Therapeutics Program at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “For the first-time we have a regimen that markedly improves survival over sorafenib, the standard of care for first-line hepatocellular carcinoma since 2007, and offers patients the opportunity for improved disease control with a favourable tolerability profile.”
The review of this application was conducted under the FDA’s Project Orbis initiative, which provides a framework for concurrent submission and review of oncology medicines among international partners. According to the FDA, collaboration among international regulators may allow patients with cancer to receive earlier access to products in other countries where there may be significant delays in regulatory submissions.1 Simultaneous applications were submitted to regulators in the United States, Australia, Canada and Singapore under Project Orbis. Additionally, the FDA rapidly reviewed and approved the application under its Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) pilot programme, which aims to explore a more efficient review process to ensure safe and effective treatments are available to patients as early as possible.
The approval was based on results from the Phase III IMbrave150 study, which demonstrated that Tecentriq in combination with Avastin reduced the risk of death (overall survival; OS) by 42% (hazard ratio [HR]=0.58; 95% CI: 0.42-0.79; p=0.0006) and reduced the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival; PFS) by 41% (HR=0.59; 95% CI: 0.47-0.76; p<0.0001), compared with sorafenib. IMbrave150 is the first Phase III cancer immunotherapy study to show an improvement in OS and PFS in people with unresectable or metastatic HCC compared with sorafenib. Serious adverse reactions (Grade 3-4) occurred in 38% of people in the Tecentriq and Avastin arm. The most frequent serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, infections and fever. These results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on 14 May 2020.
Roche has an extensive development programme for Tecentriq, including multiple ongoing and planned Phase III studies, across several types of lung, genitourinary, skin, breast, gastrointestinal, gynaecological and head and neck cancers. This includes studies evaluating Tecentriq both alone and in combination with other medicines.
About Roche in cancer immunotherapy
Roche’s rigorous pursuit of groundbreaking science has contributed to major therapeutic and diagnostic advances in oncology over the last 50 years, and today, realising the full potential of cancer immunotherapy is a major area of focus. With over 20 molecules in development, Roche is investigating the potential benefits of immunotherapy alone, and in combination with chemotherapy, targeted therapies or other immunotherapies with the goal of providing each person with a treatment tailored to harness their own unique immune system to attack their cancer. Our scientific expertise, coupled with innovative pipeline and extensive partnerships, gives us the confidence to continue pursuing the vision of finding a cure for cancer by ensuring the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.