ASCO: Pfizer, Astellas show Xtandi helps early prostate cancer patients live longer

Pfizer and Astellas’ Xtandi is already approved to treat nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, thanks to data showing it can stop tumors from spreading. But now it’s adding results that show it can help patients live longer, too.

When paired with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), Xtandi cut patients’ risk of death by 27%, a study abstract showed ahead of the American Society of Clinical Oncology virtual annual meeting. 

Patients lived a median 67 months on the Pfizer and Astellas drug, versus just 56.3 months on ADT plus placebo.

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Having that overall survival data “really just provides additional confidence for both oncologists and urologists in using Xtandi,” said Andy Schmeltz, global president and general manager of Pfizer's oncology unit. “We’re really excited because we’ve already seen such great uptake in this patient population."

Since winning its nmCRPC go-ahead in July of 2018, Xtandi has locked up more than 50% of new patient share and new patient starts within the novel hormone therapy class, Schmeltz said—despite competition from Johnson & Johnson’s Erleada, which made its debut five months prior.

Urologists are “certainly driving the growth” of the drug, which is “not surprising, given this is a newer indication and expansion of the label,” Schmeltz noted. Particularly in nonmetastatic disease, patients are very often seen by urologists rather than oncologists, so Pfizer has made focusing on them a priority.

RELATED: J&J's Erleada extends lives by 14 months in nonmetastatic prostate cancer

But while Pfizer expects the new data to give Xtandi “more of a momentum moving forward,” it will still have to contend with its J&J rival, which also put up an overall survival win Wednesday. Alongside ADT, Erleada—the follow-up to Xtandi’s longtime rival Zytiga—showed it could keep patients alive for a median 73.9 months, marking a 14-month improvement over ADT alone.