After last year’s nod, AstraZeneca’s flagship PD-L1 Imfinzi is demonstrating efficacy in another group suffering from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the type of liver cancer that cannot be removed surgically and is known as HCC.
Imfinzi was able to help those suffering from HCC who are suitable for embolization survive longer without their condition growing worse when contrasted with TACE alone. This was achieved by combining it with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and Genentech’s Avastin. TACE by itself was not as effective in this regard. According to AstraZeneca’s statement, the measure was not only statistically significant but also clinically important.
The phase 3 trial is set to persist in pursuing its secondary objective, which revolves around overall survival.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma stands as the most prevalent form of liver cancer, with an approximate 900,000 individuals diagnosed globally on an annual basis. Approximately 20% to 30% of patients meet the criteria for embolization, a procedural intervention aimed at obstructing the blood supply to the tumor. This method enables the direct administration of chemotherapy or radiation treatment to the liver.
The primary investigator of the trial, Dr. Riccardo Lencioni, emphasized that patients with HCC who are eligible for embolization face heightened rates of progression or recurrence and do not have the chance for early treatment through efficient systemic therapy.
Lencioni stated, “Imfinzi’s positive results have the potential to reshape the treatment of this complex disease with a poor prognosis by showing for the first time that adding an immunotherapy combination to TACE significantly improves progression-free survival.”
According to AstraZeneca, the data will be laid out at a forthcoming medical conference, and it will also be shared with regulatory bodies. A combination treatment consisting of Imfinzi, the company’s own Imjudo, Eisai’s Lenvima, and TACE is also being tested by the company in the same population.
In other news that is undoubtedly more discouraging for Imfinzi, AstraZeneca revealed in a statement for the third quarter that it has abandoned a mid-stage examination that had been mixing the drug with Lynparza, which is a PARP inhibitor being developed in partnership with Merck. In that trial, the combination treatment was being evaluated as a potential first-line therapy for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
This combination was only recently proven successful in a phase 3 trial for the treatment of newly identified or frequent endometrial cancer. It slashed the risk of the disease progressing or causing death by nearly 50%. Prior to that, it demonstrated its capacity to do the same in newly diagnosed patients who were suffering from ovarian cancer but did not have BRCA mutations.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca generated revenue of $11 billion during the third quarter, while Imfinzi brought in $1.12 billion. The overall oncology portfolio of the company brought in revenue of $4.38 billion during the period under review.