Genentech Submits sNDA For Venclexta and Gazyva Combo for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

March 7, 2019

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), announced on 3/7/19 the submission of a supplemental New Drug Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Venclexta (venetoclax) in combination with Gazyva (obinutuzumab) in people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and co-existing medical conditions. The FDA is reviewing the application under the Real-Time Oncology Review pilot program, which aims to explore a more efficient review process to ensure safe and effective treatments are available to patients as early as possible.

“More than 20,000 people will be diagnosed with untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the United States this year, and many are ineligible for intensive chemotherapy-based options,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “We are encouraged that this chemotherapy-free, fixed-duration combination is being reviewed under the FDA’s Real-Time Oncology Review pilot program, and we are working closely with the agency to bring this new option to people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia as quickly as possible.”

Breakthrough Therapy Designation was granted based on results of the randomized Phase III CLL14 study, evaluating the fixed-duration combination of Venclexta plus Gazyva, compared to Gazyva plus chlorambucil, in people with previously untreated CLL and co-existing medical conditions. The study 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. Safety for the Venclexta plus Gazyva combination appeared consistent with the known safety profiles of the individual medicines, and no new safety signals were identified with the combination. Data from the CLL14 study will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting. The CLL14 study is being conducted in cooperation with the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG), headed by Michael Hallek, M.D., University of Cologne.


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.

Venclexta is a first-in-class targeted medicine designed to selectively bind and inhibit the B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) protein. In some blood cancers and other tumors, BCL-2 builds up and prevents cancer cells from dying or self-destructing, a process called apoptosis. Venclexta blocks the BCL-2 protein and works to restore the process of apoptosis.

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 research with Venclexta, which is currently being studied in clinical trials across several types of blood and other cancers.

In the United States, Venclexta has been granted five Breakthrough Therapy Designations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): in combination with Gazyva for people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and co-existing medical conditions; 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 for people with untreated AML ineligible for intensive chemotherapy.

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.


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