Subcutaneous version of Roche's blockbuster cancer drug meets study goals

According to the firm, positive phase III data might be enough to have cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq approved as an under-the-skin injection in the EU and the US.

Photo: George Frey/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Roche has had overwhelming success with PD-L1 inhibitor Tecentriq (atezolizumab) as a treatment for locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – in just a few years, the drug has managed to pass the USD 1bn dollar annual revenue threshold, earning it the blockbuster title.

Since then, Roche has tried the substance in other indications, one of which seemingly panning out now. In a phase III study where Tecentriq was administered subcutaneously (as an injection under the skin) to treat NSCLC, the candidate met its endpoint, and the safety profile of the new version matches the old, the firm has announced in a press release.

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