Media Release

Basel, 16 June 2016

Roche's Gazyvaro approved in Europe in combination with bendamustine for people with previously treated follicular lymphoma

  • This is the second approval in Europe for Gazyvaro based on a positive phase III study

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that the European Commission has approved Gazyvaro® (obinutuzumab) in combination with bendamustine chemotherapy followed by Gazyvaro maintenance in people with follicular lymphoma who did not respond or who progressed during or up to six months after treatment with MabThera® (rituximab) or a MabThera-containing regimen.

The approval is based on results from the pivotal phase III GADOLIN study which showed that Gazyva/Gazyvaro plus bendamustine, followed by Gazyva/Gazyvaro alone resulted in a 52 percent reduction (HR=0.48, 95 percent CI 0.34-0.68, p<0.0001) in the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival, PFS), compared to bendamustine alone, as evaluated by an independent review committee (IRC). As assessed by investigator review, median PFS with the Gazyva/Gazyvaro regimen was more than double that with bendamustine alone (29.2 months vs. 13.7 months; HR=0.48, 95 percent CI 0.35-0.67, p<0.0001). People who received the Gazyva/Gazyvaro regimen also showed a 38 percent reduction (HR=0.62, 95 percent CI 0.39-0.98) in the risk of death (OS) compared to those who received bendamustine alone.

“Today’s approval is a significant milestone in the treatment of people with follicular lymphoma in Europe,” said Sandra Horning, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development. “For those who fail to achieve durable disease control with MabThera-based treatment, Gazyvaro plus bendamustine is an important new treatment option that has been shown to reduce the risk of disease progression or death by more than half.”

Every day, more than 50 people in Europe are diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, the most common type of indolent (slow-growing) non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).1,2 During initial therapy, response rates to MabThera-based treatment, the current standard of care, are greater than 90 percent, but there is no cure and people will eventually relapse.3,4 The disease becomes more difficult to treat at each relapse, and if a patient does not respond or relapses during or within 6 months of MabThera -containing treatment, they will likely need a different treatment. These people often have a poor prognosis and few treatment options.5

With this approval, Gazyvaro is now approved in Europe to treat two common types of blood cancer. Gazyvaro was previously approved in combination with chlorambucil for people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and comorbidities that make them unsuitable for full-dose fludarabine based therapy. That approval was based on data from the pivotal CLL11 study, where the combination of Gazyva/Gazyvaro plus chlorambucil showed superior efficacy when compared head-to-head with MabThera/Rituxan plus chlorambucil and chlorambucil alone.

Gazyvaro is marketed as Gazyva outside of the EU and Switzerland. As announced in February this year, Gazyva received approval by the US Food and Drug Administration in combination with bendamustine followed by Gazyva alone as a treatment for people with follicular lymphoma who did not respond to a Rituxan-containing regimen, or whose follicular lymphoma returned after such treatment, based on the results of the GADOLIN study.

About the GADOLIN study

GADOLIN (NCT01059630; GA04753g) is a phase III open-label, multicentre, randomised two-arm study evaluating Gazyva/Gazyvaro plus bendamustine followed by Gazyva/Gazyvaro alone until disease progression or for up to two years compared to bendamustine alone. GADOLIN included 396 patients with indolent (slow-growing) non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), including 321 patients with follicular lymphoma, whose disease progressed during or within six months of prior MabThera/Rituxan-based therapy. The primary endpoint of the study is progression-free survival (PFS) as assessed by an independent review committee (IRC), with secondary endpoints including PFS as assessed by investigator review, best overall response (BOR), complete response (CR), partial response (PR), duration of response, overall survival (OS) and safety profile. Results in follicular lymphoma showed:

  • The Gazyva/Gazyvaro regimen improved PFS compared to bendamustine alone, as assessed by IRC (HR=0.48, 95 percent CI 0.34-0.68, p<0.0001). Median PFS was not reached in those receiving the Gazyva/Gazyvaro regimen versus 13.8 months in those receiving bendamustine alone.
  • Investigator-assessed PFS was consistent with IRC-assessed PFS. As assessed by investigator review, median PFS with the Gazyva/Gazyvaro regimen was more than double that with bendamustine alone (29.2 months vs. 13.7 months; HR=0.48, 95 percent CI 0.35-0.67, p<0.0001).
  • The Gazyva/Gazyvaro regimen reduced the risk of death (OS) by 38 percent compared to bendamustine alone based on a post-hoc analysis eight months after the primary analysis (HR=0.62, 95 percent CI 0.39-0.98). The median OS has not yet been reached in either study arm.
  • The most common Grade 3-4 adverse events that occurred more often (at least 2 percent or greater) in those receiving the Gazyva/Gazyvaro regimen compared to those receiving bendamustine alone were low white blood cell count (33 percent vs. 26 percent), infusion-related reactions (11 percent vs. 6 percent) and urinary tract infection (3 percent vs. 0 percent), respectively.

About Gazyva/Gazyvaro (obinutuzumab)

Gazyva/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. Gazyva/Gazyvaro is designed to attack and destroy targeted B-cells both directly and together with the body's immune system. Gazyva/Gazyvaro is currently approved in more than 70 countries in combination with chlorambucil, for people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The approval was based on the CLL11 study, showing significant improvements with Gazyva/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/Rituxan plus chlorambucil and chlorambucil alone. Gazyva was also recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in combination with bendamustine followed by Gazyva alone for people with follicular lymphoma who did not respond to a Rituxan-containing regimen, or whose follicular lymphoma returned after such treatment based on the results of the GADOLIN study. Gazyvaro is marketed as Gazyva outside of the EU and Switzerland.

As recently announced, the phase III GALLIUM study in people with previously untreated follicular lymphoma met its primary endpoint early. GALLIUM compared the efficacy and safety of Gazyva/Gazyvaro plus chemotherapy (CHOP, CVP or bendamustine) followed by Gazyva/Gazyvaro alone, head-to-head with MabThera/Rituxan plus chemotherapy followed by MabThera/Rituxan alone. Results from a pre-planned interim analysis showed that Gazyva/Gazyvaro-based treatment resulted in superior progression-free survival compared to MabThera/Rituxan-based treatment. Adverse events with either Gazyva/Gazyvaro or MabThera/Rituxan were consistent with what was seen in previous clinical trials when each was combined with various chemotherapies. Data from the GALLIUM study will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting and submitted to health authorities for approval consideration.

Gazyva/Gazyvaro is being studied in a large clinical programme, including the phase III GOYA study. GOYA is comparing Gazyva/Gazyvaro head-to-head with MabThera/Rituxan plus CHOP chemotherapy in first line diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Additional combination studies investigating Gazyva/Gazyvaro with other approved or investigational medicines, including cancer immunotherapies and small molecule inhibitors, are planned or 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 NHL1. It is considered incurable and relapse is common. Every day, more than 50 people in Europe are diagnosed this type of NHL2. It is estimated that each year, more than 75,000 people are diagnosed with follicular lymphoma 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 in collaboration with AbbVie, Venclexta™ (venetoclax), 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 oncology, with the development of the investigational haemophilia A treatment emicizumab (ACE910).

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives.

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. 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.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. Twenty-nine 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 seven years in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2015 employed more than 91,700 people worldwide. In 2015, Roche invested CHF 9.3 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 48.1 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 www.roche.com.

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References
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: http://globocan.iarc.fr/old/summary_table_pop-html.asp?selection=224900&title=World&sex=0&type=0&window=1&sort=0&submit=%C2%A0Execute (accessed on 14/03/2016).
3 Dotan E, Aggarwal MD et al. Impact of Rituximab (Rituxan) on the Treatment of B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Pharmacy & Therapeutics. 2010; 35(3): 148-157
4 Salles GA, Morschhauser F et al. Obinutuzumab (GA101) in Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Indolent Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Results From the Phase II GAUGUIN Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2013. 31(23): 2920-2926.
5 Sehn L, Chua NS et al. GADOLIN: Primary results from a phase III study of obinutuzumab plus bendamustine compared with bendamustine alone in patients with rituximab-refractory indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma. ASCO 2015 Chicago Abstract LBA8502.