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FDA Approves Genentech’s Tecentriq in Combination With Avastin for People With Hepatocellular Carcinoma

South San Francisco, CA -- May 29, 2020 -- Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (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 favorable 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. 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 program, 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 May 14, 2020.

Genentech has an extensive development program for Tecentriq, including multiple ongoing and planned Phase III studies across several types of lung, genitourinary, skin, breast, gastrointestinal, gynecological and head and neck cancers. This includes studies evaluating Tecentriq both alone and in combination with other medicines.

For those who qualify, Genentech offers patient assistance programs for people taking Tecentriq through Genentech Access Solutions. Doctors can contact Genentech Access Solutions at (866) 422-2377. More information is also available at http://www.Genentech-Access.com.

About the IMbrave150 study
IMbrave150 is a global Phase III, multicenter, open-label study of 501 people with unresectable or metastatic HCC who had not received prior systemic therapy. People were randomized 2:1 to receive the combination of Tecentriq and Avastin or sorafenib. Tecentriq was administered intravenously (IV), 1200 mg on day 1 of each 21-day cycle, and Avastin was administered IV, 15 mg/kg on day 1 of each 21-day cycle. Sorafenib was administered by mouth, 400 mg twice per day, on days 1-21 of each 21-day cycle. People received the combination or the control arm treatment until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The two primary endpoints were OS and independent review facility (IRF)-assessed PFS per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors Version 1.1 (RECIST v1.1). Additional study endpoints were IRF-assessed overall response rate (ORR) per RECIST and mRECIST.

About hepatocellular carcinoma
According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that more than 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with liver cancer in 2020. Liver cancer incidence has more than tripled since 1980. HCC accounts for approximately 75% of all liver cancer cases in the United States. HCC develops predominantly in people with cirrhosis due to chronic hepatitis (B and C) or alcohol consumption, and typically presents at an advanced stage where there are limited treatment options.

About Tecentriq ® (atezolizumab)
Tecentriq is a monoclonal antibody designed to bind with a protein called PD-L1. Tecentriq is designed to bind to PD-L1 expressed on tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating immune cells, blocking its interactions with both PD-1 and B7.1 receptors. By inhibiting PD-L1, Tecentriq may enable the re-activation of T cells. Tecentriq may also affect normal cells.

About Avastin ® (bevacizumab)
Avastin is a prescription-only medicine that is a solution for intravenous infusion. It is a biologic antibody designed to specifically bind to a protein called VEGF that plays an important role throughout the lifecycle of the tumor to develop and maintain blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. Avastin is designed to interfere with the tumor blood supply by directly binding to the VEGF protein to prevent interactions with receptors on blood vessel cells. The tumor blood supply is thought to be critical to a tumor’s ability to grow and spread in the body (metastasize).

Tecentriq U.S. Indication
Tecentriq is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with:
A type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

  • Tecentriq may be used with the medicine bevacizumab when their liver cancer:
    • has spread or cannot be removed by surgery, and
    • they have not received other medicines by mouth or injection through their vein (IV) to treat their cancer.

It is not known if Tecentriq is safe and effective in children.

About Genentech in cancer immunotherapy
Genentech has been developing medicines to redefine treatment in oncology for more than 35 years, and today, realizing the full potential of cancer immunotherapy is a major area of focus. With more than 20 immunotherapy molecules in development, Genentech is investigating the potential benefits of immunotherapy alone, and in combination with various chemotherapies, targeted therapies and other immunotherapies with the goal of providing each person with a treatment tailored to harness their own unique immune system.

In addition to Genentech’s approved PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, the company’s broad cancer immunotherapy pipeline includes other checkpoint inhibitors, individualized neoantigen therapies and T cell bispecific antibodies. For more information visit http://www.gene.com/cancer-immunotherapy.     

About Genentech
Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.

Source: Genentech

Posted: May 2020

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