BeiGene drug fails comparative study against AbbVie: J&J rival Imbruvica


(Reuters) – BeiGene Ltd said on Monday a late-stage trial showed that its cancer treatment did not meet the main goal of proving superior to Imbruvica, a rival drug from Johnson & Johnson and AbbVie Inc.

The trial compared the drugs in 229 patients with Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia (WM), a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

BeiGene’s Brukinsa, like Imbruvica, belongs to a class of drugs called Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors.

The drug in November won U.S. approval to treat patients with mantle cell lymphoma, who have received at least one prior therapy.

While Brukinsa did not achieve the comparative study’s main goal of showing greater reduction in cancer signs compared with Imbruvica, it did show improvements in safety and tolerability, China-based BeiGene said.

WM is a rare, slow-growing blood cell cancer characterized by an excess of abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow. It affects about 3 per million people each year in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Reporting by Tamara Mathias and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sriraj Kalluvila