FDA approves venetoclax/obinutuzumab combo for CLL


The Food and Drug Administration has approved the combination of venetoclax (Venclexta) plus obinutuzumab (Gazyva) for patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma.

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The approval provides a chemotherapy-free, fixed duration treatment. The FDA based the approval on the results of the phase 3 CLL14 trial, which will be presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers randomized 432 patients to either a 12-month duration of venetoclax with a 6-month duration of obinutuzumab or to a 6-month duration of obinutuzumab plus chlorambucil and another 6-month duration of chlorambucil.

The newly approved combination reduced the risk of disease progression or death (progression-free survival as assessed by an independent review committee) by 67%, compared with obinutuzumab/chlorambucil (hazard ratio, 0.33; P less than .0001).

Venetoclax/obinutuzumab also had a higher rate of minimal residual disease negativity in bone marrow and peripheral blood, compared to the other combination, according to Genentech.

The most common adverse reactions of any grade reported for venetoclax/obinutuzumab were neutropenia, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, anemia, and upper respiratory tract infection.

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