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Roche Reports Tecentriq/Avastin Lung Cancer Study Data

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Roche’s RHHBY member Genentech, announced interim results from a phase III study evaluating Tecentriq and Avastin plus chemotherapy for first-line treatment of advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The III IMpower150 study showed that Tecentriq and Avastin plus chemotherapy reduced the risk of their disease worsening or death by 38% compared with those who were treated with Avastin plus chemotherapy. Earlier in November, Roche had already mentioned that the III IMpower150 study had met its co-primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS).

Concurrent with the present release, the company also announced that the 12-month landmark PFS rate — the percentage of lung cancer patients who survived in a year without their disease progressing — was almost double (37%) in the Tecentriq, Avastin plus chemotherapy arm compared with the Avastin plus chemotherapy arm where the same was 18%.

The secondary endpoint of the study was overall response rate (ORR) — the rate of tumor shrinkage. For the combination of Tecentriq, Avastin plus chemotherapy, tumor shrinkage rate was 64% compared with 48% in the Avastin plus chemotherapy arm.


The Tecentriq study is the first phase III combination trial of a cancer immunotherapy to show improvement in progression-free survival for the first-line treatment of advanced lung cancer.

The company expects to submit these encouraging results to the regulatory authorities for a potential label expansion of Tecentriq. Also, Roche expects to present results from the co-primary endpoint of overall survival (OS) in the first half of 2018.

So far this year, shares of the company have increased 9.8% compared with the industry’s gain of 14.7%.

In a separate release, Roche also announced positive interim results from the phase III HAVEN 4 study evaluating Hemlibra (emicizumab) prophylaxis dosed once every four weeks in adults and adolescents (12 years of age or older) with haemophilia A with and without inhibitors to factor VIII.

The study showed that Hemlibra prophylaxis administered by injection under the skin once every four weeks showed meaningful bleed control in people with haemophilia A compared with the current treatment regimens that require more frequent intravenous infusions.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Roche has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked health care stocks in the same space are Sucampo Pharmaceuticals SCMP, Johnson and Johnson JNJ and Corcept Therapeutics Inc. CORT. All of them hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Sucampo’s earnings per share estimates have moved up from 3 cents to $1.12 for 2017 and from $1.15 to $1.19 for 2018, over the last 30 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 15.63%. The share price of the company has increased 10.3% year to date.

Johnson and Johnson’s earnings per share estimates have moved up from $7.18 to $7.28 for 2017 and from $7.72 to $7.85 for 2018, over the last 60 days. The company came up with a positive earnings surprise in all of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 3.12%. The share price of the company has increased 22.4% year to date.

Corcept’searnings per share estimates have moved up from 45 cents to 47 cents for 2017 and from 77 cents to 88 cents for 2018, over the last 60 days. The company pulled off a positive earnings surprise in two of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 14.32%. The share price of the company has increased 123.3% year to date.

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