A combination of AbbVie and Roche’s venetoclax and rituximab has shown a progression-free survival benefit in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

AbbVie said that data from the Phase III MURANO trial show that a combination of Venclexta/Venclyxto (venetoclax) and Rituxan (rituximab) prolonged progression‐free survival (PFS) in patients with relapsed/refractory forms of the cancer compared with bendamustine/Rituxan.

On the back of the results, an independent data monitoring committee recommended that the trial be unblinded.

“The analysis of the MURANO trial showed that Venclexta/Venclyxto in combination with Rituxan may offer another option for patients with R/R CLL, potentially providing them with a chemotherapy‐free therapy," said Michael Severino, executive vice president, research and development, and chief scientific officer, AbbVie.

"We are looking forward to working with regulatory authorities around the world to bring this additional treatment regimen to R/R CLL patients."

The company also noted that full data from the study - which are to be presented at an upcoming medical conference - will be used to support regulatory submissions for the combination.

CLL, a slow‐growing blood cancer, is the most common type of leukaemia in the Western world.