AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) presented updated long-term data from the follow-up of phase III PACIFIC study, evaluating its PD-L1 inhibitor, Imfinzi, in unresectable, stage III non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”) at the ongoing annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (“ASCO”).
Please note that in 2018, Imfinzi was approved for the above-mentioned patient population based on PACIFIC study data in the United States, Europe and Japan.
The latest data shows that more than half of the unresectable, stage III NSCLC patient population treated with Imfinzi was alive following three years of treatment. The overall survival rate (“OS”) was 57% for patients treated with Imfinzi compared with 43.5% for placebo. However, median OS for the Imfinzi arm is yet to be reached while the same for the placebo is 29.1 months. Moreover, the drug is the only immunotherapy to demonstrate overall survival at three years in this patient population.
The primary analysis of the PACIFIC study data had shown that treatment with Imfinzi reduced the risk of death by 32% compared to placebo over two years in patients with unresectable, stage III NSCLC who had not progressed following concurrent chemoradiation therapy (“CRT”).
Per the press release, previously 15% to 30% with unresectable, stage III NSCLC patients remained alive after five years of treatment. Notably, 57% of the patients remaining alive after three years of treatment with Imfinzi raises the bar for treatments in this curative-intent setting.
The follow-up data shows that durable efficacy of Imfinzi treatment was nearly maintained in patients with 31% reduction in risk of death compared to placebo after an additional year following primary analysis. The safety and tolerability profile for Imfinzi also remained consistent with results reported at the time of the previous OS analysis.
AstraZeneca’s shares have decreased 1.6% so far this year compared with the industry’s decline of 2.3% in that period.
Apart from the lung cancer indication, Imfinzi is also approved for second-line advanced bladder cancer. The company is also developing Imfinzi as monotherapy as well as combination therapy for treatment of NSCLC in first-line or adjuvant setting. The drug is also being developed for several other cancer indications including head and neck, gastric, pancreatic, hepatocellular and blood cancers.
Meanwhile, competition is increasing in the cancer market especially in the lung cancer segment, due to its large patient population, with several approved PD-L1 inhibitors. Two key PD-L1 inhibitors available for treating multiple cancer indications include Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s (BMY - Free Report) Opdivo and Merck & Co.’s (MRK - Free Report) Keytruda. Roche’s (RHHBY - Free Report) PD-L1 inhibitor, Tecentriq, is also making significant inroads into the cancer market.
AstraZeneca currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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