Roche has announced the approval of a new Tecentriq (atezolizumab)-based combination, which expands treatment options for people across Europe affected by non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The company revealed that the European Commission (EC) has approved and granted marketing authorisation for the drug in combination with chemotherapy (carboplatin and Abraxane [albumin-bound paclitaxel; nab-paclitaxel]), for the treatment of adults with metastatic non-squamous versions of the disease.

The approval, which is for those who do not have EGFR mutant or ALK-positive NSCLC, was based on results from the Phase III IMpower130 study, which demonstrated that the Tecentriq combination therapy helped people live significantly longer, compared with chemotherapy alone.

In the trial the median overall survival (OS) was 18.6 months versus 13.9 months, and progression-free survival (PFS) was 7.0 versus 5.5 months.

Tecentriq is a monoclonal antibody designed to bind with a protein called PD-L1, which is expressed on tumour cells and tumour-infiltrating immune cells, blocking its interactions with both PD-1 and B7.1 receptors.

It is a cancer immunotherapy (CIT) that has the potential to be used as a foundational combination partner with other immunotherapies, targeted medicines and various chemotherapies across a broad range of cancers.

Sandra Horning, MD, Roche’s chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development commented that the approval marks “another advance for people living with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, providing a new treatment option for those affected in Europe.”

She continued, “This Tecentriq-based combination expands treatment options and offers flexibility to physicians when making treatment choices combining immunotherapy with chemotherapy – which is important, given the complexity of lung cancer.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death globally, and each year 1.76 million people die as a result of the disease, which translates into more than 4,800 deaths worldwide every day.