BeiGene, Novartis tislelizumab shows survival benefit in head / neck cancer in phase 3 data

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BeiGene (NASDAQ: BGNE) said updated data from a phase 3 trial of tislelizumab plus chemotherapy showed progression-free survival (PFS) benefit in patients with a type of head and neck cancer.

The company presented updated data – as of the cut of date Sept. 30, 2021 – from a phase 3 trial, dubbed RATIONALE-309, of tislelizumab in combination with chemotherapy versus chemotherapy plus placebo as a first-line therapy for patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer (RM-NPC), at the virtual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Plenary Series.

NPC is a type of cancer that starts in the nasopharynx, the upper part of the throat behind the nose and near the base of the skull.

At a median follow-up of 15.5 months, patients receiving tislelizumab combination achieved a median PFS (length of time a patient lives with the disease without it getting worse worse) of 9.6 months compared to 7.4 months for patients with placebo control and chemotherapy.

In addition, the company said that for patients treated with tislelizumab plus chemotherapy, median PFS2 (disease progression or death after next-line therapy) was not yet reached compared to 13.9 months for those treated with placebo plus chemotherapy.

A positive overall survival (OS) trend was also seen with median OS not yet reached in the tislelizumab combo arm and 23 months for the placebo combo group.

The company said tislelizumab plus chemotherapy is under review in China as a first-line treatment of adult patients with RM-NPC.

BeiGene (BGNE) has partnered with Novartis (NVS) for the clinical development and marketing of tislelizumab in the US, Europe and Japan.

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