FDA Advisory Committee votes in favour of the clinical benefit of Roche’s Polivy combination for people with previously untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) voted 11 to 2 in favour of Polivy® (polatuzumab vedotin-piiq) in combination with Rituxan® (rituximab) plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and prednisone (R-CHP) for the treatment of people with previously untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The ODAC provides the FDA with independent opinions and recommendations from outside medical experts though the recommendations are not binding. The FDA is expected to make a final decision on its review of the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Polivy in this indication by 2 April 2023.

“Today’s committee decision to recognise the potential of this Polivy combination as a first-line treatment option is important since four in ten people with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma relapse or do not respond to initial treatment,” said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., Roche’s Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development. “We believe the clinical benefit demonstrated in the POLARIX study may improve outcomes for many people with newly diagnosed DLBCL and look forward to continued collaboration with the FDA to make this treatment option available in the US.”

More than 60 countries have approved this Polivy combination for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated DLBCL, including in the EU, UK, Japan, Canada and China. Polivy in combination with R-CHP was recently added to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) as a category 1, preferred regimen for first-line DLBCL.

DLBCL is an aggressive, hard-to-treat disease and is the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the US. Limited progress has been made in improving patient outcomes in previously untreated DLBCL over the last two decades. Polivy in combination with R-CHP is the first treatment in 20 years to show a significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) over the standard of care, MabThera/Rituxan in combination with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone (R-CHOP), in this setting.

The sBLA submission is based on pivotal data from the phase III POLARIX study, which demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in PFS with Polivy plus R-CHP compared to standard-of-care R-CHOP in first-line DLBCL. The risk of disease progression, relapse or death was reduced by 27% with Polivy plus R-CHP compared with R-CHOP (hazard ratio [HR] 0.73; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.57–0.95; p<0.02). Safety outcomes were consistent with those seen in previous clinical trials, and the safety profile was comparable for Polivy plus R-CHP versus R-CHOP, including rates of Grade 3-4 adverse events (AEs; 57.7% versus 57.5%), serious AEs (34.0% versus 30.6%), Grade 5 AEs (3.0% versus 2.3%), and AEs leading to dose reduction (9.2% versus 13.0%).

Polivy in combination with bendamustine and MabThera/Rituxan is currently approved in more than 80 countries worldwide for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory DLBCL after one or more prior therapies, including in the US under FDA accelerated approval, as a readily available, fixed-duration treatment option .

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