• FDA Grants Priority Review to Genentech’s Polatuzumab Vedotin in Previously Treated Aggressive Lymphoma

    • February 20, 2019
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    Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company’s Biologics License Application (BLA) and granted Priority Review for polatuzumab vedotin in combination with bendamustine plus Rituxan® (rituximab) (BR) for the treatment of people with relapsed or refractory (R/R) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The FDA is expected to make a decision on approval by August 19, 2019.

    “Polatuzumab vedotin, a potential first-in-class antibody drug conjugate, in combination with bendamustine and Rituxan, improved clinical outcomes including survival in some people with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma compared to bendamustine and Rituxan alone,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “We are working with the FDA to bring this important new option to patients with this aggressive disease as quickly as possible.”

    The BLA is based on results of the GO29365 study, which showed that polatuzumab vedotin plus BR improved median overall survival compared to BR alone (12.4 vs. 4.7 months, HR=0.42; 95 percent CI 0.24-0.75; exploratory endpoint), in people with R/R DLBCL not eligible for a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The study also showed that 40 percent of people treated with polatuzumab vedotin plus BR achieved a complete response (CR), while only 18 percent of people treated with BR alone achieved a CR (primary endpoint, as measured by positron emission tomography; CR rates assessed by independent review committee). A CR means no cancer could be detected at that time.

    Priority Review designation is granted to medicines that the FDA considers to have the potential to provide significant improvements in the safety and effectiveness of the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a serious disease. Polatuzumab vedotin was also granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA and PRIME (PRIority MEdicines) designation by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of people with R/R DLBCL in 2017. Breakthrough Therapy Designation is designed to expedite the development and review of medicines intended to treat a serious condition with preliminary evidence that indicates they may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies.

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