Genentech Releases New Data on Reference Bevacizumab and Atezolizumab Plus Chemotherapy

Samantha DiGrande

A new study, the phase 3 IMpower150, demonstrated Genentech’s atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and innovator bevacizumab (Avastin) plus paclitaxel and carboplatin chemotherapy significantly reduced the risk of disease worsening or death in the treatment of advanced lung cancer.

A new study, the phase 3 IMpower150, demonstrated Genentech’s atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and innovator bevacizumab (Avastin) plus paclitaxel and carboplatin chemotherapy significantly reduced the risk of disease worsening or death in the treatment of advanced lung cancer.

Genetech announced on November 20, 2017 that the study met its co-primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS) and showed that the combination of the 2 antibodies plus placlitaxel and carboplatin chemotherapy reduced the risk of disease worsening or death when compared with bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in the initial treatment of people with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Though initial observations are encouraging, these data are not fully mature and the next overall survival analysis is expected to take place in the first half of 2018. Safety for atezolizumab and bevacizumab appeared consistent with the safety profile of the individual medicines. No new safety signals were identified with the combination of the drugs.

“We are extremely encouraged by these results and will submit these data to health authorities globally with the goal of bringing a potential new standard of care for the initial treatment of lung cancer,” said Sandra Horning, MD, CMO and head of global product development for Genentech. “In addition to first-line NSCLC, we are testing the ability of atezolizumab and bevacizumab to enhance the potential of the immune system to combat a broad range of other cancers,” said Horning.

This announcement comes as Genentech appears to differentiate its reference bevacizumab from Amgen’s newly approved but as-yet unlaunced bevacizumab biosimilar, ABP 215 (Mvasi), which is the first biosimilar bevacizumab approved in the US. Currently, Amgen is in litigation against Genentech for having allegedly infringed on 27 patents covering the reference bevacizumab. With this new study, Genentech may be seeking to add another indication to its approval to further protect its marketshare for the top-selling Avastin.