How Late-Stage Asset Rova-T Could Become a Leading Therapy



Rova-T recent developments

AbbVie (ABBV) expects to file a biologics license application for Rova-T as a third-line therapy for small cell lung cancer (or SCLC) in 2017. Rova-T is currently being studied in clinical trials. The drug is expected to launch in the market in 2018.

Rova-T is also being explored as a monotherapy in combination with chemotherapy agents and immune-oncology agents for earlier lines of treatment of SCLC.

On July 25, 2016, AbbVie and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) also announced a collaboration to test combination therapies Rova-T and Opdivo and Rova-T and Opdivo-Yervoy as treatments for relapsed SCLC. To know more about this opportunity, you can read Why AbbVie Expects Rova-T to See Big Peak Sales.

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Research programs

The above diagram shows the multiple research programs that are being conducted for Rova-T. With Rova-T, AbbVie expects to pose tough competition to other oncology players such as Merck & Co. (MRK) and Eli Lilly (LLY).

In the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (or ASCO) in June 2016, AbbVie presented data from its Phase 2 trial demonstrating that as a third-line SCLC therapy, Rova-T monotherapy led to a 32% survival rate in DLL3 positive patients in one year. This was around three times better than the historical standard of care survival rate of ~12%.

Rova-T also managed to report impressive numbers related to other metrics such as the clinical benefit rate, progression-free survival, and the overall response rate in the Phase 2 trial.

If Rova-T manages to obtain regulatory approvals for the various indications studied in the trials, AbbVie’s share price could see a boost, and so could the price of the iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB). AbbVie makes up about 0.51% of IWB’s total holdings.

In the next article, we’ll study growth prospects for AbbVie and Biogen’s multiple sclerosis drug Zinbryta.


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