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Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018

Phase III Data Showed That Venclexta Plus Gazyva Reduced The Risk Of Disease Worsening Or Death In People With Previously Untreated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia With Co-Morbidities

The Phase III CLL14 study compared Venclexta in combination with Gazyva to standard-of-care Gazyva plus chlorambucil 

Data will be submitted to health authorities and presented at an upcoming medical meeting 

South San Francisco, CA -- October 31, 2018 --

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), announced today that the randomized Phase III CLL14 study, which evaluated fixed-duration Venclexta® (venetoclax) in combination with Gazyva® (obinutuzumab) in people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and co-existing medical conditions, met its primary endpoint and showed a statistically significant reduction in the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival [PFS] as assessed by investigator) compared to standard-of-care Gazyva plus chlorambucil. The results showed that no new safety signals or increase in known toxicities of Venclexta or Gazyva were observed with the treatment combination.

“People with chronic lymphocytic leukemia continue to need more treatment options because some patients are unable to tolerate chemotherapy regimens due to their underlying health,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “CLL14 is the first study to show superior progression-free survival for Venclexta plus Gazyva compared to a standard-of-care regimen. We will work with health authorities to bring this potential chemotherapy-free treatment option to people who need it as quickly as possible.”

Data from the CLL14 study will be submitted to global health authorities. Venclexta in combination with Rituxan® (rituximab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of people with CLL or small lymphocytic lymphoma, with or without 17p deletion, who have received at least one prior therapy. A supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) is currently under review by the FDA for Venclexta in combination with a hypomethylating agent or in combination with low dose cytarabine for the treatment of people with previously untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who are ineligible for intensive chemotherapy, with a decision expected by end of year.

A robust clinical development program for Venclexta is ongoing in several types of blood cancer, including AML and multiple myeloma. Gazyva continues to be investigated in combination with approved and investigational molecules in CLL and follicular lymphoma.

Venclexta is being developed by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. It is jointly commercialized by the companies in the United States and commercialized by AbbVie outside of the United States.

About the CLL14 Study

CLL14 (NCT02242942) is a randomized Phase III study evaluating the combination of fixed-duration Venclexta plus Gazyva compared to Gazyva plus chlorambucil in patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with coexisting medical conditions. 432 patients with previously untreated CLL were randomly assigned to receive either Venclexta plus Gazyva (Arm A) or Gazyva plus chlorambucil (Arm B). The primary endpoint of the study is investigator-assessed progression free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints include PFS assessed by independent review committee, best overall response, complete response, duration of response, overall survival, event-free survival, time to next CLL treatment, minimal residual disease status and safety. The CLL14 study is being conducted in cooperation with the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG), headed by Michael Hallek, M.D., University of Cologne.

About Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of adult leukemia, and in 2018, it is estimated there will be more than 20,000 new cases of CLL diagnosed in the United States. Although signs of CLL may disappear for a period of time after initial treatment, the disease is considered incurable and many people will require additional treatment due to the return of cancerous cells.

About Venclexta

Venclexta is a small molecule designed to selectively bind and inhibit the BCL-2 protein, which plays an important role in a process called apoptosis (programmed cell death). Overexpression of the BCL-2 protein in CLL has been associated with resistance to certain therapies. It is believed that blocking BCL-2 may restore the signaling system that tells cells, including cancer cells, to self-destruct. Venclexta is being developed by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. It is jointly commercialized by the companies in the United States and commercialized by AbbVie outside of the United States.

Together, the companies are committed to further research with Venclexta, which is currently being evaluated in PhaseIII clinical trials for the treatment of CLL, along with studies in several other types of cancers. In the United States, Venclexta has been granted four Breakthrough Therapy Designations by the FDA: in combination with Rituxan for people with relapsed or refractory CLL; as a monotherapy for people with relapsed or refractory CLL with 17p deletion; in combination with hypomethylating agents (azacitidine or decitabine) for people with untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) ineligible for intensive chemotherapy; and in combination with low-dose cytarabine (LDAC) for people with untreated AML ineligible for intensive chemotherapy.

Venclexta Indication

Venclexta is a prescription medicine used to treat people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), with or without 17p deletion, who have received at least one prior treatment.

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

Important Safety Information:

Venclexta can cause serious side effects, including:

Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS).  TLS is caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells. TLS can cause kidney failure, the need for dialysis treatment, and may lead to death. A patient’s doctor will do tests for TLS. It is important for patients taking Venclexta to keep their appointments for blood tests. Patients will receive other medicines before starting and during treatment with Venclexta to help reduce the risk of TLS. Patients may also need to receive intravenous (IV) fluids into their vein. Patients taking Venclexta must tell their doctor right away if they have any symptoms of TLS during treatment with Venclexta, including fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, confusion, shortness of breath, seizures, irregular heartbeat, dark or cloudy urine, unusual tiredness, or muscle or joint pain.

Patients should drink plenty of water when taking Venclexta to help reduce the risk of getting TLS.

Patients should drink 6 to 8 glasses (about 56 ounces total) of water each day, starting 2 days before their first dose, on the day of their first dose of Venclexta, and each time the dose is increased.

Certain medicines must not be taken when patients first start taking Venclexta and while their dose is being slowly increased because of the risk of increased tumor lysis syndrome. 

  •  Patients must tell their doctor about all the medicines they take,  including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Venclexta and other medicines may affect each other, causing serious side effects.
  • Patients must not start new medicines during treatment with Venclexta without first talking with their doctor.

Before taking Venclexta, patients must tell their doctor about all of their medical conditions, including if they: 

  • Have kidney or liver problems.
  • Have problems with their body salts or electrolytes, such as potassium, phosphorus, or calcium.
  • Have a history of high uric acid levels in their blood or gout.
  • Are scheduled to receive a vaccine. Patients should not receive a “live vaccine” before, during, or after treatment with Venclexta until their doctor tells them it is okay. If a patient is not sure about the type of immunization or vaccine, they should ask their doctor. These vaccines may not be safe or may not work as well during treatment with Venclexta.
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Venclexta may harm an unborn baby. If a patient is able to become pregnant, the doctor should do a pregnancy test before they start treatment with Venclexta, and they should use effective birth control during treatment and for 30 days after the last dose of Venclexta.
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Venclexta passes into breast milk. Patients should not breastfeed during treatment with Venclexta.

Patients should not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit, Seville oranges (often used in marmalades), or starfruit while they are taking Venclexta. These products may increase the amount of Venclexta in the patient’s blood.

Venclexta can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Low white blood cell count (neutropenia).  Low white blood cell counts are common with Venclexta but can also be severe. A doctor will do blood tests to check a patient’s blood counts during treatment with Venclexta. Patients must tell their doctor right away if they have a fever or any signs of an infection.

The most common side effects of Venclexta when used in combination with rituximab include  low white blood cell count, diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infection, cough, tiredness, and nausea.

The most common side effects of Venclexta when used alone include  low white blood cell count, diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, low red blood cell count, tiredness, low platelet count, muscle and joint pain, swelling of the arms, legs, hands, and feet, and cough.

Venclexta may cause fertility problems in males. This may affect the ability to father a child. Patients should talk to their doctor if they have concerns about fertility.

These are not all the possible side effects of Venclexta. Patients must tell their doctor if they have any side effect that bothers them or that does not go away.

Report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or  http://www.fda.gov/medwatch. Patients and caregivers may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555. 

Please visit  http://www.Venclexta.com for the Venclexta full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information, for additional Important Safety Information. 

About Gazyva

Gazyva is an engineered monoclonal antibody designed to attach to CD20, a protein found only on certain types of B-cells. It is thought to work by attacking targeted cells both directly and together with the body's immune system. Gazyva was discovered by Roche Glycart AG, a wholly owned, independent research unit of Roche. In the United States, Gazyva is part of a collaboration between Genentech and Biogen.

Combination studies investigating Gazyva with other approved or investigational medicines, including cancer immunotherapies and small molecule inhibitors, are underway across a range of blood cancers.

Gazyva Indications

Gazyva® (obinutuzumab) is a prescription medicine used:

  • With the chemotherapy drug, chlorambucil, to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in adults who have not had previous CLL treatment.
  • With the chemotherapy drug, bendamustine, followed by Gazyva alone for follicular lymphoma (FL) in adults who did not respond to a rituximab-containing regimen, or whose FL returned after such treatment.
  • With chemotherapy, followed by Gazyva alone in those who responded, to treat stage II bulky, III, or IV FL in adults who have not had previous FL treatment.

Important Safety Information

The most important safety information patients should know about Gazyva 

Patients must tell their doctor right away about any side effect they experience. Gazyva can cause side effects that can become serious or life threatening, including:

  • Hepatitis B Virus (HBV):  Hepatitis B can cause liver failure and death. If the patient has a history of hepatitis B infection, Gazyva could cause it to return. Patients should not receive Gazyva if they have active hepatitis B liver disease. The patient’s doctor or healthcare team will need to screen them for hepatitis B before, and monitor the patient for hepatitis during and after, their treatment with Gazyva. Sometimes this will require treatment for hepatitis B. Symptoms of hepatitis include: worsening of fatigue and yellow discoloration of skin or eyes
  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML): PML is a rare and serious brain infection caused by a virus. PML can be fatal. The patient’s weakened immune system could put them at risk. The patient’s doctor will watch for symptoms. Symptoms of PML include: confusion, difficulty talking or walking, dizziness or loss of balance, and vision problems

Who should not receive Gazyva:

Patients should NOT receive Gazyva if they have had an allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis or serum sickness) to Gazyva. Patients must tell their healthcare provider if they have had an allergic reaction to obinutuzumab or any other ingredients in Gazyva in the past

Additional possible serious side effects of Gazyva:

Patients must tell their doctor right away about any side effect they experience. Gazyva can cause side effects that may become severe or life threatening, including:
  • Infusion Reactions:  These side effects may occur during or within 24 hours of any Gazyva infusion. Some infusion reactions can be serious, including, but not limited to, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), acute life-threatening breathing problems, or other life-threatening infusion reactions. If the patient has a reaction, the infusion is either slowed or stopped until their symptoms are resolved. Most patients are able to complete infusions and receive medication again. However, if the infusion reaction is life threatening, the infusion of Gazyva will be permanently stopped. The patient’s healthcare team will take steps to help lessen any side effects the patient may have to the infusion process. The patient may be given medicines to take before each Gazyva treatment. Symptoms of infusion reactions may include: fast heartbeat, tiredness, dizziness, headache, redness of the face, nausea, chills, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and chest discomfort
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions Including Serum Sickness: Some patients receiving Gazyva may have severe or life-threatening allergic reactions. This reaction may be severe, may happen during or after an infusion, and may affect many areas of the body. If an allergic reaction occurs, the patient’s doctor will stop the infusion and permanently discontinue Gazyva
  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS):  Tumor lysis syndrome, including fatal cases, has been reported in patients receiving Gazyva. Gazyva works to break down cancer cells quickly. As cancer cells break apart, their contents are released into the blood. These contents may cause damage to organs and the heart, and may lead to kidney failure requiring the need for dialysis treatment. The patient’s doctor may prescribe medication to help prevent TLS. The patient’s doctor will also conduct regular blood tests to check for TLS. Symptoms of TLS may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and tiredness
  • Infections: While the patient is taking Gazyva, they may develop infections. Some of these infections may be fatal and severe, so the patient should be sure to talk to their doctor if they think they have an infection. Patients administered Gazyva in combination with chemotherapy, followed by Gazyva alone are at a high risk of infections during and after treatment. Patients with a history of recurring or chronic infections may be at an increased risk of infection. Patients with an active infection should not be treated with Gazyva. Patients taking Gazyva plus bendamustine may be at higher risk for fatal or severe infections compared to patients taking Gazyva plus CHOP or CVP
  • Low White Blood Cell Count: When the patient has an abnormally low count of infection-fighting white blood cells, it is called neutropenia. While the patient is taking Gazyva, their doctor will do blood work to check their white blood cell count. Severe and life-threatening neutropenia can develop during or after treatment with Gazyva. Some cases of neutropenia can last for more than one month. If the patient’s white blood cell count is low, their doctor may prescribe medication to help prevent infections
  • Low Platelet Count: Platelets help stop bleeding or blood loss. Gazyva may reduce the number of platelets the patient has in their blood; having low platelet count is called thrombocytopenia. This may affect the clotting process. While the patient is taking Gazyva, their doctor will do blood work to check their platelet count. Severe and life-threatening thrombocytopenia can develop during treatment with Gazyva. Fatal bleeding events have occurred in patients treated with Gazyva. If the patient’s platelet count gets too low, their treatment may be delayed or reduced
The most common side effects of Gazyva in CLL were infusion reactions, low white blood cell counts, low platelet counts, low red blood cell counts, fever, cough, nausea, and diarrhea

The safety of Gazyva was evaluated based on 392 patients with relapsed or refractory NHL, including FL (81 percent), small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) and marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) (a disease for which Gazyva is not indicated), who did not respond to or progressed within 6 months of treatment with rituximab product or a rituximab product-containing regimen. In patients with follicular lymphoma, the profile of side effects that were seen were consistent with the overall population who had NHL. The most common side effects of Gazyva 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

A randomized, open-label multicenter trial (GALLIUM) evaluated the safety of Gazyva as compared to rituximab product in 1,385 patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma (86%) or marginal zone lymphoma (14%). The most common side effects of Gazyva were infusion reactions, low white blood cell count, upper respiratory tract infection, cough, constipation and diarrhea

 Before receiving Gazyva, patients should talk to their doctor about: 

  • Immunizations: Before receiving Gazyva therapy, the patient should tell their healthcare provider if they have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. Patients who are treated with Gazyva should not receive live vaccines
  • Pregnancy: The patient should tell their doctor if they are pregnant, think that they might be pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Gazyva may harm their unborn baby. The patient should speak to their doctor about using Gazyva while they are pregnant. The patient should talk to their doctor or their child’s doctor about the safety and timing of live virus vaccinations to their infant if they received Gazyva during pregnancy. It is not known if Gazyva may pass into the patient’s breast milk. The patient should speak to their doctor about using Gazyva if they are breastfeeding

Patients should tell their doctor about any side effects.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Gazyva. For more information, patients should ask their doctor or pharmacist.

Gazyva is available by prescription only.

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

Please visit  http://www.Gazyva.com  for the Gazyva full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNINGS, for additional Important Safety Information. 

About the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG)

Founded in 1996 and headed by Michael Hallek, M.D., the GCLLSG has been running various Phase III, Phase II and Phase I trials in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with the goal to provide optimal treatment to patients suffering from this disease. Among those were landmark trials like the CLL8 and the CLL11 trials which led to the current standard-of-care in CLL. For many years, GCLLSG has been aiming to improve not just the treatment of younger and physically fit patients, but also that of elderly and less fit patients. These patients are generally underrepresented in clinical trials although they constitute the majority of CLL patients treated by doctors in daily practice. The GCLLSG is an independent non-profit research organization supported by the German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe). www.dcllsg.de.

About Genentech in Hematology

For more than 20 years, Genentech has been developing medicines with the goal to redefine treatment in hematology. Today, we’re investing more than ever in our effort to bring innovative treatment options to people with diseases of the blood. For more information visit  http://www.gene.com/hematology.

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.