March 26, 2018 / 6:24 AM / in 4 months

UPDATE 1-Roche's Tecentriq cocktail notches another lung cancer success

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ZURICH, March 26 (Reuters) - Roche's immunotherapy Tecentriq combined with other drugs boosted lung cancer patients' survival versus an older cocktail, the Swiss company's latest trial success as it seeks an edge on Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Mixing Tecentriq with Avastin and chemotherapies carboplatin and paclitaxel boosted overall survival in first-line treatment of non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, Roche said on Monday, compared to patients who received only Avastin plus carboplatin and paclitaxel.

Roche said it would submit the data to authorities and hopes for a quick approval.

The Basel-based company had already announced Tecentriq mixed with Avastin and chemotherapy reduced the risk of disease progression or death. While Roche did not provide specific overall survival data on Monday, the headline result helps its efforts to catch up to better-established immunotherapies from Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Roche also said the survival benefit was observed across key subgroups, including those with varying levels of a protein called PD-L1 that can help tumours avoid detection. This could help Roche make the case that its cocktail is suitable for broad patients groups, not just those with specific biomarkers.

"We are pleased the IMpower150 study demonstrated a clinically meaningful survival benefit for people receiving their initial treatment for this type of advanced lung cancer," said Sandra Horning, Roche’s chief medical officer. "We will submit these additional data to global health authorities and hope to bring this potential treatment option to patients as soon as possible."

This latest trial success for Roche follows its announcement last week that Tecentriq mixed with chemotherapies carboplatin and Abraxane boosted progression-free survival, compared with chemotherapy alone, in first-line treatment of patients with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer. (Reporting by John Miller; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Louise Heavens)

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