Roche said that Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab) improved the overall survival in a phase 3 trial in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer.
The late-stage trial called IMbrave150 evaluated the Tecentriq, Avastin combination in comparison with sorafenib in 501 patients with unresectable HCC, who did not receive prior systemic therapy.
Data from the IMbrave150 study demonstrated that the investigational combination delivered statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) compared with sorafenib.
The Tecentriq, Avastin combination brought down the risk of death (OS) by 42%, while cutting down the risk of disease worsening or death (PFS) by 41%, in comparison to sorafenib. Safety for the two drugs in the combination was on par with their respective known safety profiles.
Roche chief medical officer and global product development head Levi Garraway said: “For the first time in a decade, we are seeing a treatment that has improved overall survival for people with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma compared with the current standard of care.
“Tecentriq in combination with Avastin could transform the treatment of this aggressive disease, and we are working closely with global health authorities in the hope of bringing this treatment option to patients as soon as possible.”
Tecentriq, which is a monoclonal antibody, inhibits the PD-L1 protein expressed on tumour cells and tumour-infiltrating immune cells.
The drug, which was developed by Roche’s subsidiary Genentech, has approvals in the US, European Union and other countries, as a monotherapy or in combination with targeted therapies and/or chemotherapies. Its approvals are for the treatment of various types of non-small cell and small cell lung cancer, certain forms of metastatic urothelial cancer, and also in PD-L1-positive metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.
Avastin, which was also developed by Genentech, is a biologic antibody that can bind specifically to the VEGF protein in order to interfere with the tumour blood supply. The biologic antibody is also approved for the treatment of various cancers like metastatic colorectal cancer, advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), metastatic kidney cancer, and others in different parts of the world.
Earlier this year, the European Commission approved Tecentriq in combination with Avastin and chemotherapy (paclitaxel and carboplatin) for the first-line treatment of adults with metastatic NSCLC.