ASCO24: Novartis Leukemia Drug Beats Older Drugs in Phase III Readout

Published: May 31, 2024 By Kate Goodwin

Novartis building_iStock, JHVEPhoto

Pictured: Novartis’ logo outside its building in San Diego, California/iStock, JHVEPhoto

Novartis’ kinase inhibitor Scemblix aced a Phase III trial in chronic myeloid leukemia, as the Swiss pharma looks to bump up the third-line treatment into a first-line spot. Novartis on Friday presented the data at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago. 

In the ASC4FIRST trial, Scemblix was pitted against current standard-of-care tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapies. Out of 405 patients, close to half received Scemblix and the other half were divided between Novartis’ own Gleevec and a stronger, second-generation TKI.  

After 48 weeks, 68% of patients in the Scemblix arm achieved a major molecular response compared to 49% in the TKI arm, including both lines of treatment. A deep molecular response, often…
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