July 19, 2018 / 7:03 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Roche still awaiting Tecentriq survival data in key study

(Adds comment from analyst, details)

ZURICH, July 19 (Reuters) - Roche's Tecentric immunotherapy mixed with chemotherapy has not yet achieved a hoped-for overall survival target in first-line lung cancer treatment, the Swiss drugmaker said on Thursday.

The Tecentriq combination with pemetrexed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) did reduce the risk of the disease worsening or death, the Swiss drugmaker said.

The Basel-based company is still waiting for final overall survival data. But the study, at least for now, fails to provide a clear way to compare Tecentriq against Merck’s rival immunotheraphy Keytruda, an analyst said.

"We see the news likely sending (Roche's) share price down 3 percent to 4 percent," Bruno Bulic, a Baader Helvea analyst, said in a note to investors.

Roche's Tecentriq is trying to make up lost ground to Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo, each of which have sales that are more than 10 times that of Roche's drug.

Roche said it would push ahead with the study to get final overall survival (OS) data next year.

“While a numerical improvement for the co-primary endpoint of overall survival was observed, statistical significance was not met at this interim analysis, and the study will continue as planned with final OS results expected next year," Roche said, adding it would discuss the results so far with regulators. (Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill)

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