- Roche's cancer drug Gazyva hit its clinical goal early in a large Phase 3 study, proving superior to rituximab in helping patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma go longer without their symptoms worsening.
- Detailed data from the trial will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting, the company said Friday.
- Roche recently won FDA approval of Gazyva for treatment of people with previously treated follicular lymphoma. The strong interim results should help Roche further expand the drug's indications.
Roche hopes Gazyva, along with several other new cancer drugs, can provide new growth as it faces looming biosimilar competition for rituximab (Mabthera/Rituxan), which remains the Swiss company's top-selling drug.
For this study, Roche is comparing treatment with Gazyva plus chemotherapy, followed by Gazyva alone to treatment with rituximab plus chemotherapy, followed by rituximab alone. Results from the study had not been expected until 2017, Reuters notes.
Adverse events for Gazyva were in line with previous studies when the drug was combined with various chemotherapies, Roche said.
Gazyva has already demonstrated superiority to rituximab in extending progression-free survival times for patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Follicular lymphoma is the most common type of indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma and an estimated 75,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year, according to the company.