Roche has announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved the subcutaneous (SC) formulation of MabThera® (rituximab) for people with previously untreated and relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). The approved dose for CLL is 1600mg. Following the approval of MabThera SC (1400 mg) for common forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March 2014, this is the second European approval for the formulation.
“MabThera SC provides patients with significantly faster treatment administration and the opportunity to enjoy more time outside the clinical setting compared to intravenous delivery of the medicine,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Head, Global Product Development. “Today’s approval in CLL means the benefit of MabThera SC can be offered to even more patients.”
The European approval was based primarily on data from the phase Ib SAWYER study, in which previously untreated CLL patients received either MabThera SC (1600 mg) or intravenous MabThera (500mg/m2) in combination with chemotherapy (fludarabine and cyclophosphamide), a current standard of care.
SAWYER demonstrated treatment with MabThera SC resulted in comparable levels of the medicine in the blood (serum concentrations), as well as efficacy and safety, to intravenous MabThera, and results were recently published in The Lancet Haematology1.