- At the European Cancer Congress (ECC) in Vienna, Roche presented data on an investigational PD-L1 inhibitor, atezolizumab, which increased overall survival by 7.7 months in patients with lung cancer, and shrank tumors in 27% of lung cancer patients in clinical trials. The patients who benefited the most had the highest levels of PD-L1.
- Also at ECC, Bristol-Myers Squibb presented data on its immuno-oncologic star Opdivo (nivolumab) for treatment of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In clinical trials, median overall survival of Opdivo-treated RCC patients was 25 months versus 19.6 months for Afinitor (everolimus)-treated patients.
- This data was presented at the 18th European Cancer Congress, which was schduled for September 25-29, and is taking place in Vienna, Austria.
The stars at this year's ECC are undoutedly the immuno-onologics, also known as PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors. As for atezolizumab, Roche thinks that this may be its next blockbuster drug, and hopes to have it on the market for late 2016.
Perhaps the biggest news with atezolizumab is its ability to shrink tumors in patients with bladder cancer, where a durable response is very unusual. Because of this response, Roche received breakthrough designation from the FDA in February.
Opdivo is already approved for the treatment of advanced melanoma and advanced lung cancer, but is quickly being vetted for approval for treatment of kidney cancer. Testing is progressing rapidly and an approval is expected by early 2016.