Thursday, November 7, 2013

More on Gazyva (Obinutuzumab)

Genentech / Roche put out a press release this morning about the German CLL11 study that we have talked about several times previously.  American Society of Hematology meets in December and the abstracts were just released - hence the multiple press releases you will see in the news.

The drug was approved last week for the front line treatment of "typical patients" with CLL (they tended to be older and sicker than the FCR crowd).  Our center has had the opportunity to study the drug extensively and in the surrounding news coverage, one of my patients was featured in local news.  I think it is a nice story about a person taking the drug.  I encourage you to watch it (note this was different study design than CLL11, there was no chlorambucil in this study).

The reason for the press release today is the big news that we had been expecting / waiting for to show that GA-101 (obinutuzumab, gazyva) looks like it did quite a bit better than rituximab.  If you recall, at ASCO, they did a presentation where they compared chlorambucil (C) alone to C-Rituximab and a second comparison of C alone to C-Obinutuzumab.  They did not release the comparison that everyone wanted to see which was the C-Rituximab versus C-Obinutuzumab.  That is what is in the press release and will be presented in the plenary session at ASH in December.

The "progression free survival"  is actually two separate criteria: 1) alive AND 2) no relapse of CLL.  In the C-R arm the rate was 15 months and in the C-G arm it was 26 months - a full year better.  The rest of the data will need to wait for the presentation - can't wait to see it.

Thanks for reading