Media Release

Basel, 09 January 2017

FDA grants Roche’s cancer immunotherapy TECENTRIQ(atezolizumab) Priority Review in additional type of advanced bladder cancer

  • TECENTRIQ being evaluated as first-line treatment option for people not eligible for cisplatin chemotherapy
  • Second Priority Review granted for TECENTRIQ in advanced bladder cancer 

​Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company’s supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) and granted Priority Review for TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab) for the treatment of people with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) who are ineligible for cisplatin chemotherapy, and are either previously untreated (first-line) or have disease progression at least 12 months after receiving chemotherapy before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant). Urothelial carcinoma accounts for 90 percent of all bladder cancers and can also be found in the renal pelvis, ureter and urethra.

“In May 2016, TECENTRIQ became the first treatment approved by the FDA for people with previously treated advanced bladder cancer in more than 30 years,” said Sandra Horning, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development. “We are committed to continue working with the FDA to make TECENTRIQ available to more people with this type of advanced bladder cancer, specifically those who are unable to tolerate cisplatin-based chemotherapy as an initial treatment.”

This sBLA submission for TECENTRIQ is based on results from the Phase II IMvigor210 study, and the FDA will make a decision on approval by 30 April 2017. A Priority Review designation is granted to medicines that the FDA has determined to have the potential to provide significant improvements in the safety and effectiveness of the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a serious disease.

TECENTRIQ is currently approved by the FDA to treat people with locally advanced or mUC who have disease progression during or following platinum-based chemotherapy or whose disease has worsened within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy. TECENTRIQ is approved under accelerated approval for this indication based on tumour response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials. TECENTRIQ is also approved for the treatment of people with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy, and have progressed on an appropriate FDA-approved targeted therapy if their tumour has EGFR or ALK gene abnormalities.

About the IMvigor210 study

IMvigor210 is an open-label, multicenter, single-arm Phase II study that evaluated the safety and efficacy of TECENTRIQ in people with locally advanced or mUC, regardless of PD-L1 expression. People in the study were enrolled into one of two cohorts. Cohort 1, upon which this sBLA submission is based, consisted of people who were ineligible for first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy, and who had received no prior chemotherapies for locally advanced or mUC (i.e., first-line) or had disease progression at least 12 months after neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. Cohort 2, which served as the basis for the FDA’s accelerated approval of TECENTRIQ in May 2016, included people whose disease had progressed during or following previous treatment with a platinum-based chemotherapy regimen, or who had disease progression within 12 months of treatment with a platinum-based neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy regimen. The primary endpoint of the study was objective response rate (ORR). Secondary endpoints included duration of response (DOR), overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and safety.

About metastatic urothelial carcinoma

Metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC) is associated with a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. It is a disease that has seen no major advances for more than 30 years. UC is the ninth most common cancer worldwide, with 430,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012, and it results in approximately 145,000 deaths globally each year. Men are three times more likely to suffer from UC, compared with women, and the disease is three times more common in developed countries than in less developed countries.

About TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab)

TECENTRIQ is a monoclonal antibody designed to target and bind to a protein called PD-L1 (programmed death-ligand 1), which is expressed on tumour cells and tumour-infiltrating immune cells. PD-L1 interacts with PD-1 and B7.1, both found on the surface of T cells, causing inhibition of T cells. By blocking this interaction, TECENTRIQ may enable the activation of T cells, restoring their ability to effectively detect and attack tumour cells. TECENTRIQ is currently only approved in the US.

About Roche in cancer immunotherapy

For more than 50 years, Roche has been developing medicines with the goal to redefine treatment in oncology. Today, we’re investing more than ever in our effort to bring innovative treatment options that help a person’s own immune system fight cancer.

About personalised cancer immunotherapy (PCI)

The aim of personalised cancer immunotherapy (PCI) is to provide patients and physicians with treatment options tailored to the specific immune biology associated with a person’s individual tumour. The purpose is to inform treatment strategies which provide the greatest number of people with a chance for transformative benefit. In the case of TECENTRIQ, the goal of PD-L1 as a biomarker is to explore PD-L1 expression on tumour cells and tumour infiltrating immune cells and how that correlates with clinical benefit either as a monotherapy or in combination, and across a broad range of tumour types. The Roche PCI research and development programme comprises more than 20 investigational candidates, ten of which are in clinical trials.

PCI is an essential component of how Roche delivers on the broader commitment to personalised healthcare. To learn more about the Roche approach to cancer immunotherapy please follow this link.

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 eight 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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