UPDATE 1-Roche drug cocktail doubles chance of holding lung cancer at bay

UPDATE 1-Roche drug cocktail doubles chance of holding lung cancer at bay
From Reuters - December 6, 2017

ZURICH (Reuters) - Adding Roches immunotherapy Tecentriq to older drugs doubled the percentage of lung cancer patients who survived a year without their disease advancing, an outcome some experts labeled unprecedented.

Thirty-seven percent of patients in a closely watched clinical trial who got Tecentriq, Avastin and chemotherapy reached the one-year mark without their cancer progressing (PFS), according to data released on Thursday.

For patients getting only Avastin and chemotherapy, that fell to 18 percent.

Roches November announcement that its Impower 150 trial had broadly succeeded in first-line lung cancer patients helped spur a one-day, $12 billion rally in the Basel-based drugmakers market capitalization.

Thursdays release of specific numbers at a European Society for Medical Oncology meeting in Geneva could further fan investor optimism the Swiss drugmaker is gaining on rivals Merck & Co and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Roche Chief Executive Severin Schwan sees an opportunity to leap-frog ahead as competitors still await their own lung cancer combination trial results.

This is very, very promising, Dr Solange Peters, the head of Medical Oncology at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland, said on the latest results.

Doubling PFS (progression-free survival) at one year is something we have not seen with any targeted therapy in unselected patients to date.

In a second significant trial result, Roche also released positive interim data from its recently approved haemophilia drug Hemlibra dosed at every four weeks, saying the results were consistent with previous studies of the medicine dosed once weekly or every two weeks.

Roche said it would submit the results from both studies to regulatory authorities around the world.



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