Company Announcements

Genentech to Present Results of First Prospective Trial Using Blood-based Next Generation Sequencing Which Successfully Identifies People for Treatment With Alecensa (Alectinib)

– Efficacy of Alecensa in people identified to have ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer using liquid biopsy is consistent with efficacy in those identified by tissue analysis in the pivotal Phase III ALEX study –

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 30, 2019-- Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), will today announce positive results from a single-arm cohort of the Phase II/III Blood First Assay Screening Trial (BFAST), the first prospective study to use only blood-based next generation sequencing (NGS) to detect specific fusions with the aim of selecting treatment for people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), without the need for tissue biopsy. Results from the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) cohort will be presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019 Congress on Monday, September 30 from 9:15 – 9:30 a.m. CEST (Abstract LBA81 PR) and were also part of the official ESMO press program.

“Obtaining tumor tissue for biomarker testing can be a challenge in many people with cancer and, as a result, some may not receive optimal treatment for their disease,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “BFAST is the first trial to show that by using a blood-based next-generation diagnostic, it is possible to identify the ALK mutation in people with non-small cell lung cancer using a blood draw alone, which means that more people could potentially benefit from Alecensa.”

“Foundation Medicine is pleased to partner with Roche on this study, a first-of-its-kind, pivotal trial that directly demonstrates the clinical utility of using our comprehensive blood-based assay, FoundationOne Liquid, to detect specific fusions and match NSCLC patients with first-line treatment,” said Brian Alexander, M.D., chief medical officer of Foundation Medicine. “Validated and comprehensive liquid biopsy tests are critical to help physicians find the best possible treatment approach for patients with advanced cancer and for whom tissue testing isn’t feasible. Identifying ALK fusions can be particularly challenging and these data demonstrate that FoundationOne Liquid can accurately predict which patients can respond to therapy.”

The BFAST study used FoundationOne® Liquid, Foundation Medicine’s comprehensive liquid biopsy test, which detects the four main classes of genomic alterations, microsatellite instability (MSI) and select fusions including ALK in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from a blood draw. These data demonstrate that the FoundationOne Liquid assay can help to test and identify a broader population of people with advanced NSCLC who may benefit from Alecensa, for whom current diagnostic tests are not suitable, such as for those who cannot provide tissue samples due to insufficient or absent tumor tissue, or where tissue diagnostics are not available, and validate the clinical utility of blood-based NGS as an additional method to inform clinical decision-making in ALK-positive NSCLC.

In the study, 87.4% (95% CI: 78.5-93.5) of people with advanced NSCLC who were identified by the FoundationOne Liquid biopsy assay to have ALK fusions had a confirmed response to treatment with Alecensa (overall response rate; ORR) as measured by the investigator per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST v1.1). This is consistent with the ORR for Alecensa observed in the pivotal Phase III ALEX trial, which identified people using tissue-based testing. When measured using an Independent Review Facility per RECIST v1.1, the confirmed ORR was numerically higher at 92.0% (95% CI: 84.1-96.7). Median progression free-survival (PFS) and duration of response (DoR) were not reached after a median follow-up of 12.6 months. The safety profile of Alecensa was consistent with prior clinical trials and post-marketing experience, with no new safety signals observed.

About the BFAST study

BFAST (Blood First Assay Screening Trial) (NCT03178552) is a Phase II/III global, multi-center, open-label, multi-cohort study evaluating the safety and efficacy of targeted therapies or immunotherapies as single agents or in combination in people with unresectable, advanced or metastatic NSCLC determined to harbor oncogenic somatic mutations or be tumor mutational burden (TMB)-positive as identified by blood-based NGS ctDNA assays. The Alecensa ALK-positive cohort is the first to readout, with other cohorts due to follow. The primary endpoint for the Alecensa ALK-positive cohort of the BFAST study is confirmed investigator (INV)-assessed ORR. Secondary endpoints include: independent review facility (IRF)-assessed ORR, DoR (INV and IRF), PFS (INV and IRF), overall survival (OS) and safety.

About lung cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that more than 228,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019, and NSCLC accounts for 80-85% of all lung cancers. It is estimated that approximately 60% of lung cancer diagnoses in the United States are made when the disease is in the advanced stages.

About Alecensa® (alectinib)

Alecensa is a kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of people with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as detected by an FDA-approved test.

Alecensa U.S. Indication

Alecensa is a kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of people with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as detected by an FDA-approved test.

Important Safety Information

Everyone reacts differently to treatment with Alecensa. It’s important to know the most serious and most common side effects with Alecensa.

A doctor may lower the dose or stop treatment with Alecensa if any serious side effects occur. Patients taking Alecensa should contact their doctor right away if they have any of the following side effects.

Alecensa may cause serious side effects, including:

Liver problems (hepatotoxicity). Alecensa may cause liver injury. A doctor will do blood tests at least every 2 weeks for the first 3 months and as needed during treatment with Alecensa. Patients taking Alecensa should tell their doctor right away if they experience any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling less hungry than usual
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Itchy skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain on the right side of stomach area
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal

Lung problems. Alecensa may cause severe or life-threatening swelling (inflammation) of the lungs during treatment. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Patients taking Alecensa should tell their doctor right away if they have any new or worsening symptoms, including:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Cough

Kidney problems. Alecensa may cause severe or life-threatening kidney problems. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a change in the amount or color of your urine, or if you get new or worsening swelling in your legs or feet.

Slow heartbeat (bradycardia). Alecensa may cause very slow heartbeats that can be severe. A doctor will check a patient’s heart rate and blood pressure during treatment with Alecensa. Patients taking Alecensa should tell their doctor right away if they feel dizzy, lightheaded, or faint during treatment with Alecensa. Patients taking Alecensa should tell their doctor if they take any heart or blood pressure medicines.

Muscle pain, tenderness, and weakness (myalgia). Muscle problems are common with Alecensa and can be severe. A doctor will do blood tests at least every 2 weeks for the first month and as needed during treatment with Alecensa. Patients taking Alecensa should tell their doctor right away if they have any new or worsening signs and symptoms of muscle problems, including unexplained muscle pain or muscle pain that does not go away, tenderness, or weakness.

Before taking Alecensa, patients should tell their doctor about all medical conditions, including if they:

  • Have liver problems
  • Have lung or breathing problems
  • Have a slow heartbeat
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Alecensa can harm an unborn baby. Patients taking Alecensa should tell their doctor right away if they become pregnant during treatment with Alecensa or think they may be pregnant
    • Women who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with Alecensa and for one week after the final dose of Alecensa
    • Men who have female partners that are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with Alecensa and for three months after the final dose of Alecensa
    • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Alecensa passes into breast milk. A patient should not breastfeed during treatment with Alecensa and for one week after the final dose of Alecensa. Patients should talk with their doctor about the best way to feed their baby during this time.

Patients taking Alecensa should tell their doctor about all the medicines they take, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Patients taking Alecensa should avoid spending time in the sunlight during treatment with Alecensa and for seven days after the final dose of Alecensa. Patients taking Alecensa may burn more easily and get severe sunburns. Patients taking Alecensa should use sunscreen and lip balm with a SPF 50 or greater to help protect against sunburn.

The most common side effects of Alecensa include:

  • Tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Swelling in hands, feet, ankles, and eyelids
  • Low red blood cell count

These are not all of the possible side effects of Alecensa. For more information, patients should ask their doctor or pharmacist. Patients should call their doctor for medical advice about side effects.

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 see additional Important Safety Information in full PrescribingInformation, including Patient Information.

About Foundation Medicine

Foundation Medicine is a molecular information company dedicated to a transformation in cancer care in which treatment is informed by a deep understanding of the genomic changes that contribute to each patient's unique cancer. The company, a member of the Roche Group, offers a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling tests to identify the molecular alterations in a patient's cancer and match them with relevant targeted therapies, immunotherapies and clinical trials. Foundation Medicine’s molecular information platform aims to improve day-to-day care for patients by serving the needs of clinicians, academic researchers and drug developers to help advance the science of molecular medicine in cancer.

For more information, please visit http://www.foundationmedicine.com or follow Foundation Medicine on Twitter (@FoundationMedicineATCG).

About Genentech in Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a major area of focus and investment for Genentech, and we are committed to developing new approaches, medicines and tests that can help people with this deadly disease. Our goal is to provide an effective treatment option for every person diagnosed with lung cancer. We currently have five approved medicines to treat certain kinds of lung cancer and more than 10 medicines being developed to target the most common genetic drivers of lung cancer or to boost the immune system to combat the disease.

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.

Source: Genentech

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