FDA approves First ever antibody to target Cancer PD-L1

19/05/2016 - 2 minutes

Roche has received market approval for atezolizumab to treat a common type of bladder cancer. It’s the 3rd checkpoint inhibitor on the market, and the first to target PD-L1.

roche_checkpoint_inhibitor_cancer_immunotherapyImmuno-oncology is a hype field that promises to revolutionize cancer treatment, with a lot of active research and big deals (like the €600M deal between argenx and AbbVie).

Checkpoint blocking is an important part of successful immuno-oncology strategies. This strategy uses antibodies to block the natural ‘safety checks’ of the immune system, stopping exaggerated responses – which can be quite… complicated.

Checkpoint inhibitors are useful to stop cancer from hijacking this safety system to escape both natural immune response and immunotherapies. But until now, only two companies had succeeded in bringing products to the market in this area – MSD with Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb with Nivolumab (but these were not PD-L1).

Now, Roche joins this exclusive group.

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