During the ESMO 2019 celebration, one of the novelties presented has been different abstracts that highlight the results of avelumab as monotherapy and in combination for multiple advanced cancers. As reported by Merck and Pfizer, data from the JAVELIN study for the treatment of multiple advanced tumors, including metastatic renal cell carcinoma, metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma and other solid tumors have been positive.
Specifically, the data presented in ESMO include three subgroup analyzes of the Avelumab randomized, multicenter and open-label study in combination with Phase III axitinib JAVELIN Renal 101, performed on 886 patients with advanced untreated renal cell carcinoma in all groups of risk. They demonstrated that avelumab in combination with axitinib significantly improved progression-free survival, compared to sunitinib in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, with an acceptable tolerability and safety profile, including serious adverse events.
In this regard, Chris Boshoff, director of Global Development of Products for Oncology at Pfizer, stated that “these data demonstrate our commitment to identify the patients who will obtain the greatest benefit with this type of immunotherapy as a single agent, as with other approaches in combination with other drugs. ” For his part, Luciano Rossetti, global head of R&D in the Biopharma area of Merck, stressed that “we are committed to the continuous investigation of avelumab while we find new advanced treatment options for patients with certain types of cancers.”
Other test lines
Along the same lines, other presentations during the congress have shown the potential impact of avelumab as monotherapy and in new combinations. Thus, a health-related quality of life analysis belonging to the Phase II JAVELIN Merkel 200 study, for patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma, treated with avelumab, resulted in a stable health-related quality of life. or improved in several temporary moments.
In the same way, provisional results of the Phase Ib JAVELIN IL-12 study evaluating avelumab in combination with M9241, the merck IL-12 fusion protein that contains an anti-DNA antibody, in patients with solid tumors, reported the recommended dose for Phase II of this study.
It should be remembered that avelumab is a specific human antibody for a protein called PD-L1 or programmed death ligand 1. Currently, avelumab in combination with axitinib is indicated in the United States for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.