As the Relapsed/Refractory Treatment Setting for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma Becomes More Crowded, What Key Attributes Will Differentiate Emerging Therapies According to Oncologists and Payers?
The introduction of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (MAb) rituximab (Roche/Genentech/Chugai Seiyaku/Zenyaku Kogyo’s Rituxan/MabThera) profoundly revolutionized the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). Although the MAbs alemtuzumab (Sanofi/Genzyme’s Campath/MabCampath) and ofatumumab (GlaxoSmithKline/Genmab’s Arzerra) have expanded treatment options for relapsed/refractory (R/R) CLL/SLL, this heterogenic patient population remains difficult to treat. The February 2014 approval of ibrutinib (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen/Pharmacyclics’ Imbruvica) represents a significant milestone in the treatment of R/R CLL and will serve to increase competition in the market. Nevertheless, significant clinical and commercial opportunity remains for therapies that can provide survival benefits greater than those of current standards of care.