Roche scores immunotherapy drug win — but faces tough competition

Feb. 7, 2018

Roche has reported promising results from a study combining two immunotherapy drugs to treat kidney cancer. 

For the trial, patients used a mix of Roche’s Tecentriq and with an older medicine called Avastin, which lowered the chance of death by 26 percent. The patients had tumors that expressed a high level of a protein, which helps shield the cancer from the immune system.

Despite the good news, Reuters reports that Roche could still struggle to position its treatments as the go-to option amid an increasingly crowded field of immunotherapies. Just days ago, Bristol-Myers Squibb reported successful findings from a lung cancer study involving a mix of its drugs Opdivo and Yervoy. With every success for drugmakers, the decision for doctors about which cocktail of treatments to try becomes more complex, especially because results vary among different types of tumors on different organs.

Read the full Reuters report.