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Takeda Says Cancer Drug Alunbrig Shows Longer Benefit Vs. Crizotinib

(Reuters) Nov 22, 2019 - Japan’s biggest drugmaker, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, said long-term data show better outcomes for its Alunbrig drug in certain lung cancer patients compared to an existing treatment. Oncology is a pillar for Takeda as it refocuses on core businesses following last year’s $59 billion takeover of Britain’s Shire. The announcement followed a week of investor conferences at home and in the United States intended to show that its drug pipeline is robust enough to fuel continued growth.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: November 25, 2019)

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Brigatinib is superior in efficacy compared to crizotinib, but the real comparison is currently alectinib, which is the standard of care today, after it demonstrated tremendous superiority compared to crizotinib in the ALEX trial.

Despite the encouraging PFS results of brigatinib in 2nd line trials after patients with ALK-positive NSCLC had progression demonstrated on critozinib, the ALTA-1 trial results looked no better with brigatinib than first line results with alectinib in a very similar population. Numerically, the PFS numbers were slightly worse -- not enough to say that it was a meaningfully worse choice than alectinib, but nothing at all to favor brigatinib over alectinib in this space.

Yes, fewer pills daily with brigatinib vs. alectinib, but if that's your leading feature, you're in trouble.

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