CHMP recommends EU approval of Roche’s Gazyvaro for people with previously untreated advanced follicular lymphoma

Basel, 21 July 2017

  • Pivotal GALLIUM study demonstrated that Gazyvaro-based treatment helped people with previously untreated follicular lymphoma live significantly longer without disease progression compared to MabThera-based treatment

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that the EU Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a positive opinion for Gazyvaro® (obinutuzumab) in combination with chemotherapy, followed by Gazyvaro maintenance in people achieving a response, as a new treatment option for previously untreated advanced follicular lymphoma. The CHMP’s recommendation is based on results from the phase III GALLIUM study. Follicular lymphoma, the most common type of indolent (slow-growing) non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is considered incurable, and most people relapse repeatedly.1,2 Based on this positive CHMP recommendation, a final decision regarding the approval of Gazyvaro is expected from the European Commission in the near future.

“As follicular lymphoma is considered incurable, better initial treatment options are needed to prevent the disease from returning for as long as possible,” said Sandra Horning, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development. “MabThera has been the standard of care for the past 20 years. Based on the GALLIUM study, Gazyvaro-based therapy provides superior progression-free survival compared to MabThera-based therapy, setting a new benchmark for what can be achieved with initial therapy for follicular lymphoma.”

The GALLIUM study is the first phase III study in previously untreated follicular lymphoma to show superior PFS over MabThera®(rituximab)-based treatment, the current standard of care. Results showed that Gazyvaro-based treatment reduced the risk of disease progression or death (progression-free survival; PFS), as evaluated by investigator assessment, by 34 percent (HR=0.66; 95% CI 0.51-0.85, p=0.001) compared to MabThera-based treatment.  As supported by an independent review committee (IRC), the risk of disease progression or death was reduced by 29 percent (HR=0.71; 95% CI 0.54-0.93, p=0.014) compared to MabThera/Rituxan-based treatment. Median PFS has not yet been reached in either treatment arm. Investigator assessment showed that at three years, 80.0 percent of patients who received Gazyvaro-based treatment were progression-free compared to 73.3 percent of patients who received MabThera-based treatment. Adverse events with either Gazyvaro or MabThera were consistent with those seen in previous studies.

About the GALLIUM study

GALLIUM (NCT01332968) is a global Phase III open-label, multi-centre, randomised two-arm study examining the efficacy and safety of Gazyvaro plus chemotherapy followed by Gazyvaro alone for up to two years, as compared head-to-head against MabThera plus chemotherapy followed by MabThera alone for up to two years or until disease progression (whichever occurs first). Chemotherapies (CHOP, CVP or bendamustine) were selected by each participating study site prior to beginning enrolment. GALLIUM included 1401 patients with previously untreated indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (iNHL), of which 1202 patients had follicular lymphoma. The primary endpoint of the study was investigator-assessed PFS in patients with follicular lymphoma, with secondary endpoints including PFS assessed by IRC, PFS in the overall study population (iNHL), response rate (overall response, ORR; and complete response, CR), overall survival (OS), and safety. The GALLIUM study is being conducted in cooperation with the NCRI (United Kingdom), GLSG (Germany), the East German Study Group Hematology and Oncology (OSHO; Germany). 

About Gazyvaro (obinutuzumab)

Gazyvaro is an engineered monoclonal antibody designed to attach to CD20, a protein expressed on certain B cells, but not on stem cells or plasma cells. Gazyvaro is designed to attack and destroy targeted B-cells both directly and together with the body's immune system.

Gazyvaro is marketed as Gazyva® outside the EU and Switzerland. Gazyva/Gazyvaro is currently approved in more than 80 countries in combination with chlorambucil, for people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), and in combination with bendamustine for people with certain types of previously treated follicular lymphoma. The approvals in CLL were based on the CLL11 study, showing significant improvements with Gazyvaro plus chlorambucil across multiple clinical endpoints, including PFS, overall response rate (ORR), complete response rate (CR), and minimal residual disease (MRD) when compared head-to-head with MabThera plus chlorambucil.

The approvals in certain types of previously treated follicular lymphoma were based on the phase III GADOLIN study, in people with follicular lymphoma who did not respond to or who progressed during or within six months of prior MabThera -based therapy, showing a significant improvement in PFS and overall survival (OS) with Gazyvaro-based therapy compared to bendamustine alone.

Additional combination studies investigating Gazyvaro with other approved or investigational medicines, including cancer immunotherapies and small molecule inhibitors, are underway across a range of blood cancers.

About Follicular Lymphoma

Follicular lymphoma is the most common indolent (slow-growing) form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), accounting for about one in five cases of NHL.1 It is considered incurable and relapse is common. Every day, more than 50 people in Europe are diagnosed with this type of NHL2. It is estimated that more than 75,000 people are diagnosed with follicular lymphoma each year worldwide2.

About Roche in haematology 

For more than 20 years, Roche has been developing medicines that redefine treatment in haematology. Today, we are investing more than ever in our effort to bring innovative treatment options to people with diseases of the blood. In addition to approved medicines MabThera®/Rituxan® (rituximab), Gazyva®/Gazyvaro® (obinutuzumab), and VenclextaTM/VenclyxtoTM (venetoclax) in collaboration with AbbVie, Roche’s pipeline of investigational haematology medicines includes Tecentriq® (atezolizumab), an anti-CD79b antibody drug conjugate (polatuzumab vedotin/RG7596) and a small molecule antagonist of MDM2 (idasanutlin/RG7388). Roche’s dedication to developing novel molecules in haematology expands beyond malignancy, with the development of the investigational haemophilia A treatment emicizumab.

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims for improving patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. Thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Roche has been recognised as the Group Leader in sustainability within the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Industry eight years in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2016 employed more than 94,000 people worldwide. In 2016, Roche invested CHF 9.9 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 50.6 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

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  1. Shankland KR, Armitage JO, Hancock BW: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Lancet 380 (9844): 848-57, 2012.
  2. Ferlay J, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France:  International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: (accessed on 14/03/2016).