Novartis' Neuroendocrine Tumors Targeted Radiotherapy Takes Small Hit on Clinically Relevant Overall Survival

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  • Novartis AG NVS reported the final analysis from the NETTER-1 phase 3 study comparing Lutathera plus 30 mg Sandostatin LAR (octreotide) to 60 mg octreotide LAR in patients with midgut neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Lutathera failed to significantly prolong the lives of patients with midgut neuroendocrine tumors, according to data unveiled at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
  • When used alongside Novartis’ Sandostatin LAR in the trial, Lutathera reduced the risk of death by 16% compared with solo Sandostatin LAR. But the improvement didn’t clear the statistical significance bar.
  • Lutathera resulted in a clinically relevant prolongation in median overall survival of 11.7 months (48 months vs. 36.3 months in the control group).
  • The company also noted that adding Lutathera to the mix extended the median time patients lived by nearly a year; patients treated with the Lutathera regimen lived a median of 48 months, versus 36.3 months for the control group.
  • “While not statistically significant, I consider this difference to be clinically relevant for these patients,” Strosberg said in a statement.
  • Multiple factors may have hurt Lutathera’s survival stats, Novartis said. A large number of patients in the control arm—about 36%—actually crossed over to receive Lutathera, Strosberg noted.
  • Patients in the Netter-1 trial were allowed to receive other anti-cancer treatments after disease progression on their randomized treatment or upon finishing an 18-month treatment period.
  • No new safety signals emerged in the long-term safety follow-up with a median of 6.3 years. In terms of secondary hematological malignancies, no new MDS or acute leukemia cases were reported in the long-term follow-up.
  • Price Action: NVS shares are up 0.44% at $89.70 during the market session on the last check Friday.
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