Genentech receives achieves breakthrough in lung cancer treatment

By Ben Hargreaves contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Magicmine)
(Image: Getty/Magicmine)

Related tags: Roche, Genentech, Tecentriq

Genentech's Tecentriq, alongside chemotherapy, becomes the first new treatment option for extensive-stage small cell lung cancer in 20 years.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tecentriq (atezolizumab), in combination with carboplatin and etoposide, for the treatment of extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC). The immunotherapy treatment, developed Roche subsidiary Genentech, becomes the first new option for patients with the condition in 20 years.

The FDA based its decision on a Phase III trial that showed the PD-L1 treatment improved median overall survival by 12.3 months against 10.3 months, and improved progression free survival by 5.2 months compared with 4.3 months – with the latter figures representing patients treated with chemotherapy alone.

Sandra Horning, chief medical officer of Genentech, said, “Until now, there have been limited treatment advances for this disease, and we are excited to bring a potential new standard of care to patients that has been shown to improve survival compared to chemotherapy.”

When Roche, the parent company of Genentech, released its full-year financials for 2018​, it posted a growth of 7% in global sales. The company revealed that this was driven by its portfolio of recently launched biologics, one of which was Tecentriq.

The figures revealed that Tecentriq sales were up by 59% to CHF 772m ($777m) for the year, due to post-launch uptake in Europe and its recent launch in Japan.

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