Novartis reveals positive Phase 3 data for tislelizumab plus chemotherapy in esophageal cancer

The Swiss Big Pharma Novartis (NYSE:NVS) announced that the anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor tislelizumab with chemotherapy improved overall survival in patients with advanced, recurrent or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in a Phase 3 study.

The RATIONALE 306 trial of tislelizumab and chemotherapy met its primary endpoint at interim analysis. The study pitted the combination therapy against chemotherapy as a monotherapy.

Novartis noted that the study focusing on first-line ESCC follows on the heels of FDA and EMA accepting tislelizumab in a second-line context.

The company is optimistic that the drug could treat a variety of solid tumors.

To date, tislelizumab has been the subject of more than 200 clinical studies.

Novartis licensed rights to the drug from BeiGene in February 2021 for $650 million upfront plus another $1.55 billion in potential milestone payments.

The Swiss company noted that it would collab…

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