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FDA Approves Genentech’s Tecentriq in Combination With Avastin for People With the Most Common Form of Liver Cancer

– Tecentriq in combination with Avastin is the first and only cancer immunotherapy regimen approved for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma –

– Tecentriq combination improved overall survival and progression-free survival compared to the previous standard of care –

– Application approved under FDA’s Project Orbis initiative and Real-Time Oncology Review pilot program –

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin® (bevacizumab) for the treatment of people with unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have not received prior systemic therapy.

"We're excited that today’s approval of Tecentriq in combination with Avastin for unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma brings a cancer immunotherapy option to people with this aggressive form of liver cancer," said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. "The application was reviewed under the FDA’s Real-Time Oncology Review pilot and Project Orbis initiative, helping to bring this new treatment option rapidly to patients in the United States and around the world."

"The results of the IMbrave150 study are really transformative for patients with advanced liver cancer, one of the few cancers with a rising death rate and limited options in the first-line setting," said Dr. Richard Finn, Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Director of the Signal Transduction and Therapeutics Program at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. "For the first-time we have a regimen that markedly improves survival over sorafenib, the standard of care for first-line hepatocellular carcinoma since 2007, and offers patients the opportunity for improved disease control with a favorable tolerability profile."

The review of this application was conducted under the FDA’s Project Orbis initiative, which provides a framework for concurrent submission and review of oncology medicines among international partners. According to the FDA, collaboration among international regulators may allow patients with cancer to receive earlier access to products in other countries where there may be significant delays in regulatory submissions. Simultaneous applications were submitted to regulators in the United States, Australia, Canada and Singapore under Project Orbis. Additionally, the FDA rapidly reviewed and approved the application under its Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) pilot program, which aims to explore a more efficient review process to ensure safe and effective treatments are available to patients as early as possible.

The approval was based on results from the Phase III IMbrave150 study, which demonstrated that Tecentriq in combination with Avastin reduced the risk of death (overall survival; OS) by 42% (hazard ratio [HR]=0.58; 95% CI: 0.42-0.79; p=0.0006) and reduced the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival; PFS) by 41% (HR=0.59; 95% CI: 0.47-0.76; p<0.0001), compared with sorafenib. IMbrave150 is the first Phase III cancer immunotherapy study to show an improvement in OS and PFS in people with unresectable or metastatic HCC compared with sorafenib. Serious adverse reactions (Grade 3-4) occurred in 38% of people in the Tecentriq and Avastin arm. The most frequent serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, infections and fever. These results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 14, 2020.

Genentech has an extensive development program for Tecentriq, including multiple ongoing and planned Phase III studies across several types of lung, genitourinary, skin, breast, gastrointestinal, gynecological and head and neck cancers. This includes studies evaluating Tecentriq both alone and in combination with other medicines.

For those who qualify, Genentech offers patient assistance programs for people taking Tecentriq through Genentech Access Solutions. Doctors can contact Genentech Access Solutions at (866) 422-2377. More information is also available at http://www.Genentech-Access.com.

About the IMbrave150 study

IMbrave150 is a global Phase III, multicenter, open-label study of 501 people with unresectable or metastatic HCC who had not received prior systemic therapy. People were randomized 2:1 to receive the combination of Tecentriq and Avastin or sorafenib. Tecentriq was administered intravenously (IV), 1200 mg on day 1 of each 21-day cycle, and Avastin was administered IV, 15 mg/kg on day 1 of each 21-day cycle. Sorafenib was administered by mouth, 400 mg twice per day, on days 1-21 of each 21-day cycle. People received the combination or the control arm treatment until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The two primary endpoints were OS and independent review facility (IRF)-assessed PFS per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors Version 1.1 (RECIST v1.1). Additional study endpoints were IRF-assessed overall response rate (ORR) per RECIST and mRECIST.

About hepatocellular carcinoma

According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that more than 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with liver cancer in 2020. Liver cancer incidence has more than tripled since 1980. HCC accounts for approximately 75% of all liver cancer cases in the United States. HCC develops predominantly in people with cirrhosis due to chronic hepatitis (B and C) or alcohol consumption, and typically presents at an advanced stage where there are limited treatment options.

About Tecentriq® (atezolizumab)

Tecentriq is a monoclonal antibody designed to bind with a protein called PD-L1. Tecentriq is designed to bind to PD-L1 expressed on tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating immune cells, blocking its interactions with both PD-1 and B7.1 receptors. By inhibiting PD-L1, Tecentriq may enable the re-activation of T cells. Tecentriq may also affect normal cells.

About Avastin® (bevacizumab)

Avastin is a prescription-only medicine that is a solution for intravenous infusion. It is a biologic antibody designed to specifically bind to a protein called VEGF that plays an important role throughout the lifecycle of the tumor to develop and maintain blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. Avastin is designed to interfere with the tumor blood supply by directly binding to the VEGF protein to prevent interactions with receptors on blood vessel cells. The tumor blood supply is thought to be critical to a tumor’s ability to grow and spread in the body (metastasize).

Tecentriq U.S. Indication

Tecentriq is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with:

A type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

  • Tecentriq may be used with the medicine bevacizumab when their liver cancer:
    • has spread or cannot be removed by surgery, and
    • they have not received other medicines by mouth or injection through their vein (IV) to treat their cancer.

It is not known if Tecentriq is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information about Tecentriq?

Tecentriq can cause the immune system to attack normal organs and tissues and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become serious or life-threatening and can lead to death.

Patients should call or see their healthcare provider right away if they get any symptoms of the following problems or these symptoms get worse.

Tecentriq can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Lung problems (pneumonitis)–signs and symptoms of pneumonitis may include new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain
  • Liver problems (hepatitis)–signs and symptoms of hepatitis may include yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes, severe nausea or vomiting, pain on the right side of the stomach area (abdomen), drowsiness, dark urine (tea colored), bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, and feeling less hungry than usual
  • Intestinal problems (colitis)–signs and symptoms of colitis may include diarrhea (loose stools) or more bowel movements than usual, blood or mucus in stools or dark, tarry, sticky stools, and severe stomach area (abdomen) pain or tenderness
  • Hormone gland problems (especially the thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, and pituitary)–signs and symptoms that the hormone glands are not working properly may include headaches that will not go away or unusual headaches, extreme tiredness, weight gain or weight loss, dizziness or fainting, feeling more hungry or thirsty than usual, hair loss, changes in mood or behavior (such as decreased sex drive, irritability, or forgetfulness), feeling cold, constipation, voice gets deeper, urinating more often than usual, nausea or vomiting, and stomach area (abdomen) pain
  • Problems in other organs–signs and symptoms may include severe muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, confusion, blurry vision, double vision, or other vision problems, changes in mood or behavior, extreme sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, eye pain or redness, skin blisters or peeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or swelling of the ankles
  • Severe infections–signs and symptoms of infection may include fever, cough, flu-like symptoms, pain when urinating, and frequent urination or back pain
  • Severe infusion reactions–signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include chills or shaking, itching or rash, flushing, shortness of breath or wheezing, swelling of the face or lips, dizziness, fever, feeling like passing out, and back or neck pain

Getting medical treatment right away may help keep these problems from becoming more serious. A healthcare provider may treat patients with corticosteroid or hormone replacement medicines. A healthcare provider may delay or completely stop treatment with Tecentriq if patients have severe side effects.

Before receiving Tecentriq, patients should tell their healthcare provider about all of their medical conditions, including if they:

  • have immune system problems (such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus); have had an organ transplant; have lung or breathing problems; have liver problems; have a condition that affects the nervous system (such as myasthenia gravis or Guillain-Barre syndrome); or are being treated for an infection
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Tecentriq can harm an unborn baby. Patients should tell their healthcare provider right away if they become pregnant or think they may be pregnant during treatment with Tecentriq. Females who are able to become pregnant:
    • A healthcare provider should do a pregnancy test before they start treatment with Tecentriq
    • They should use an effective method of birth control during their treatment and for at least 5 months after the last dose of Tecentriq
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Tecentriq passes into the breast milk. Patients should not breastfeed during treatment and for at least 5 months after the last dose of Tecentriq

Patients should tell their healthcare provider about all the medicines they take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

The most common side effects of Tecentriq when used in hepatocellular carcinoma with bevacizumab include:

  • high blood pressure
  • feeling tired or weak
  • too much protein in the urine

Tecentriq may cause fertility problems in females, which may affect the ability to have children. Patients should talk to their healthcare provider if they have concerns about fertility.

These are not all the possible side effects of Tecentriq. Patients should ask their healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information. Patients should call their doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or http://www.fda.gov/medwatch. Report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see http://www.Tecentriq.com for full Prescribing Information and additional Important Safety Information.

Avastin is approved for:

Avastin, in combination with atezolizumab, is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have not received prior systemic therapy.

Possible serious side effects

Everyone reacts differently to Avastin therapy. So, it’s important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not. Their doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Patients should contact their health care team if there are any signs of these side effects.

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in the stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
  • Abnormal passage in the body. This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
  • Wounds that don’t heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If a patient has recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, they should be sure to tell their doctor
  • Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin and after stopping treatment
  • Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
  • Infusion-related reactions. These were uncommon with the first dose (less than 3% of patients). 0.2% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. The patient’s doctor or nurse will monitor for signs of infusion reactions
  • Severe stroke or heart problems. These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, chest pain, and the heart may become too weak to pump blood to other parts of the body (congestive heart failure). These can sometimes be fatal
  • Nervous system and vision problems. Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness

Side effects seen most often

In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Too much protein in the urine
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Taste change
  • Dry skin
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Inflammation of the nose
  • Watery eyes

Avastin is not for everyone

Patients should talk to their doctor if they are:

  • Undergoing surgery. Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Pregnant or think they are pregnant. Data have shown that Avastin may harm a woman’s unborn baby. Birth control should be used while patients are on Avastin. If Avastin is stopped, patients should keep using birth control for 6 months before trying to become pregnant
  • Planning to become pregnant. Taking Avastin could cause a woman’s ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children
  • Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding while on Avastin may harm the baby, therefore women should not breastfeed during and for 6 months after taking Avastin

Patients should talk with their doctor if they have any questions about their condition or treatment.

Report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or http://www.fda.gov/medwatch. Report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

For full Prescribing Information and Boxed WARNINGS on Avastin please visit http://www.avastin.com.

About Genentech in cancer immunotherapy

Genentech has been developing medicines to redefine treatment in oncology for more than 35 years, and today, realizing the full potential of cancer immunotherapy is a major area of focus. With more than 20 immunotherapy molecules in development, Genentech is investigating the potential benefits of immunotherapy alone, and in combination with various chemotherapies, targeted therapies and other immunotherapies with the goal of providing each person with a treatment tailored to harness their own unique immune system.

In addition to Genentech’s approved PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, the company’s broad cancer immunotherapy pipeline includes other checkpoint inhibitors, individualized neoantigen therapies and T cell bispecific antibodies. For more information visit http://www.gene.com/cancer-immunotherapy.

About Genentech

Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.

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