In a highly anticipated head-to-head battle between Johnson & Johnson’s combination therapy and AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso as a first-line treatment for a specific subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a clear winner has emerged.
The MARIPOSA trial showcased that J&J’s Rybrevant, when combined with its partner lazertinib from Yuhan, significantly extended the progression-free survival of patients with locally advanced or metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutated NSCLC compared to Tagrisso. An interim analysis revealed a promising trend favoring the Rybrevant-lazertinib combination over Tagrisso in terms of life extension. Researchers will continue to monitor the study participants for additional overall survival data.
The positive results “reinforce the potential of the Rybrevant and lazertinib combination in frontline EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer as a future standard of care.”
– Peter Lebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., R&D’s oncology head, Janssen
J&J intends to present the study’s results at the upcoming European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) congress. Analysts from Leerink previously noted that the peak sales prospects for this combination therapy would depend on the extent of its superiority in progression-free survival and overall survival data. They emphasized that the MARIPOSA trial faced high expectations due to Tagrisso’s compelling commercial profile as a first-line therapy.
AstraZeneca has recently reaffirmed its confidence in Tagrisso retaining its status as the standard of care in the first-line setting, following positive results from a new chemotherapy combination presented at this year’s World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Singapore. These findings positioned Tagrisso as a valuable treatment option, particularly for patients with a higher tumor burden.
It’s worth noting that Rybrevant received accelerated approval in 2021, making it the first therapy to target NSCLC with EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations before the emergence of Takeda’s Exkivity as a competitor. In the second-line setting, the US market share is approximately evenly split between Rybrevant and Exkivity, according to Takeda’s data.