US nod for Genentech’s Gazyva for follicular lymphoma

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has gained approval from the FDA for Gazyva®(obinutuzumab) plus bendamustine chemotherapy followed by Gazyva alone as a new treatment for people with follicular lymphoma who did not respond to a Rituxan® (rituximab)-containing regimen, or whose illness returned after such treatment.

Follicular lymphoma is the most common type of indolent (slow-growing) non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and accounts for approximately one in five cases of NHL.

“People with follicular lymphoma whose disease returns or worsens despite treatment with a Rituxan-containing regimen need more options because the disease becomes more difficult to treat each time it comes back,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “Gazyva plus bendamustine provides a new treatment option that can be used after relapse to significantly reduce the risk of progression or death.”

The approval is based on results from the Phase III GADOLIN study, which showed that, in people with follicular lymphoma whose disease progressed during or within six months of prior Rituxan-based therapy, Gazyva plus bendamustine followed by Gazyva alone demonstrated a 52 per cent reduction in the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival, PFS), compared to bendamustine alone, as assessed by an independent review committee (IRC).

The safety of Gazyva was evaluated based on 392 people in the GADOLIN study with indolent NHL of whom 81 per cent had follicular lymphoma. The most common Grade 3-4 side effects of this Gazyva regimen were low white blood cell counts, infusion reactions and low platelet counts. The most common side effects of this Gazyva regimen were infusion reactions, low white blood cell counts, nausea, fatigue, cough, diarrhea, constipation, fever, low platelet counts, vomiting, upper respiratory tract infection, decreased appetite, joint or muscle pain, sinusitis, low red blood cell counts, general weakness and urinary tract infection.

Gazyva is now approved in the United States to treat two common types of blood cancer. It is also approved in combination with chlorambucil for people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) based on data from the pivotal CLL11 study, which compared Gazyva plus chlorambucil head-to-head with Rituxan plus chlorambucil.

Marketing applications for Gazyva based on the GADOLIN study results have also been submitted to other regulatory authorities, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA), for approval consideration.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com/ morganlane


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