AbbVie and Roche hoped for Venclexta, their targeted blood cancer drug that’s approved for a rare form of leukemia. Such approval means an extension of the indications list and another important step for this drug development.
The trial assessed the efficacy of Venclexta paired with Roche’s Rituxan against Rituxan with standard therapy, bendamustine.
The companies said the Venclexta combo had hit its primary goal—staving off cancer progression better than the Rituxan/bendamustine pairing—with details forthcoming at a future conference. And analysts figure the data will soon be submitted to the FDA for a new Venclexta approval.
Venclexta is important to Roche and AbbVie both. Companies need to build up their portfolios to protect themselves from biosimilars’ competition for their most profitable medicines. Roche expects Rituxan’s biosimilars by the end of 2017 in some countries and after 2019 in the US, which could lead for loses of $ 7 billion for the company.
Some analysts believe that the bestseller AbbVie, $ 16 billion Humira, may face a rapid decline in sales. The next best seller of AbbVie is Imbruvica, which brought $ 1.8 billion in 2016. Imbruvica markets in partnership with Johnson & Johnson.