April 17 Genentech, a unit of Swiss drugmaker
Roche Holding AG, said on Monday it got approval from
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its already approved
immunotherapy drug, Tecentriq, to treat advanced bladder cancer.
Tecentriq, also known as atezolizumab, received the go-ahead
under the FDA's accelerated approval program as a first-line
treatment for patients with advanced bladder cancer who are not
eligible for standard cisplatin chemotherapy.
The drug was earlier approved in patients with advanced or
metastatic bladder cancer whose disease worsened within a year
of receiving chemotherapy.
The approval, which came six months after the FDA approved
Tecentriq for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, is a
boost to the Swiss drugmaker's bid to expand indications for the
Tecentriq belongs to a closely watched class of drugs called
PD-1 inhibitors, which help the immune system fight cancer by
blocking a mechanism that tumors use to evade attack.
Bladder cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer
in the United States, according to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy
(Reporting by Divya Grover in Benagluru; Editing by Peter