EC OKs Roche’s Combo Melanoma Therapy
The European Commission has approved Roche’s Cotellic (cobimetinib) for use in combination with Roche’s Zelboraf (vemurafenib) for treating unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a BRAF V600 mutation. The EU approval is based on data that showed Cotellic plus Zelboraf helped people with previously untreated BRAF V600 mutation-positive advanced melanoma live for more than a year without their disease worsening.
Cotellic and Zelboraf are prescription medicines used in combination to treat melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body or cannot be removed by surgery, and that has a certain type of abnormal “BRAF” gene. Found in approximately half of melanomas, mutated BRAF causes abnormal signaling inside certain cancer cells leading to tumor growth. Zelboraf is designed to inhibit some mutated forms of BRAF, and Cotellic is designed to inhibit some forms of MEK. Both BRAF and MEK are proteins in a cell signaling pathway that help control cell growth and survival6. When used in combination, Cotellic and Zelboraf are thought to reduce cancer cell growth longer than with Zelboraf alone.
Cotellic is also being investigated in combination with several investigational medicines, including an immunotherapy, in several tumor types such as non-small cell lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Cotellic was discovered by Exelixis Inc. and is being developed by Roche in collaboration with Exelixis.