GSK’s Blenrep Achieves Breakthrough in Blood Cancer Trial, Boosting Oncology Prospects

Multiple myeloma is the third most common type of blood cancer and is known for its challenging treatment.

GSK (GlaxoSmithKline), a British pharmaceutical giant, announced a significant milestone for its blood cancer drug, Blenrep, on Monday.

The drug achieved a crucial objective in a late-stage clinical trial, marking a pivotal moment for GSK’s efforts to strengthen its oncology business, following a series of setbacks.

In the trial, Blenrep was administered in combination with the existing drugs bortezomib and dexamethasone, resulting in a substantial extension of the time before disease progression or patient mortality among individuals with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma is the third most common type of blood cancer and is known for its challenging treatment.

Notably, Blenrep faced a setback last year when it was withdrawn from the U.S. market after failing a separate late-stage study, which aimed to demonstrate its superiority over an existing treatment.

In September, the European Union’s drug regulator also recommended against renewing the conditional marketing authorization for Blenrep, posing challenges for GSK’s oncology unit’s growth prospects.

Barclays analysts acknowledged that expectations for Blenrep’s performance in the remaining multiple myeloma trials had been quite low.

However, they considered the results from the “DREAMM-7” study a slight positive development.

They also emphasized the need for additional data before revising their sales projections.

Blenrep belongs to a promising category of treatments known as antibody-drug conjugates, which are specially engineered antibodies designed to attach to tumor cells and subsequently release chemicals that destroy the cancerous cells.

GSK reported that the study also observed a “strong and clinically meaningful overall survival trend.”

Overall survival measures the proportion of trial patients who were on the drug and remained alive compared to those on a placebo.

Meanwhile, the study’s primary goal, progression-free survival, signifies the duration during which a person lives with the disease without it worsening after treatment.

Blenrep played a significant role in GSK’s oncology business in 2022, being the second-largest contributor.

To date, the drug has generated approximately £30 million ($37.38 million) in sales this year.

This milestone in the DREAMM-7 study represents a potential resurgence for Blenrep and offers hope for improved treatment options for patients with multiple myeloma.

GSK will likely continue to pursue further research and data to solidify the drug’s position in the oncology market.