Generic Name: avelumab

Pronunciation: N/A

Abbreviation: N/A

Other Market Name: N/A

Drug Class: Immunotherapy Medications

Company: EMD Serono

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: No

Experimental Code: N/A

Drug Indication

Bavencio is a checkpoint inhibitor approved for advanced or metastatic bladder (urothelial) cancer—both as maintenance therapy and for patients who progress on chemotherapy—metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma and advanced kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma).

General Info

Bavencio is a monoclonal antibody used in cancer immunotherapy. It is a checkpoint inhibitor that blocks the PD-L1 protein on cancer cells or immune cells in tumors. PD-1 is an immune checkpoint on T cells that plays a role in regulating immune function. Some tumors can hijack PD-1 to turn off immune responses against them. Drugs that block the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1, its binding partner, can release the brakes and restore T-cell activity.

Clinical trials showed that Bavencio slows progression of bladder cancer and Merkel cell carcinoma. The JAVELIN Bladder 100 trial showed that Bavencio works as maintenance therapy for people whose cancer has not progressed on platinum-based chemotherapy. The JAVELIN Renal 101 trial showed that Bavencio plus Inlyta (axitinib) reduced disease progression or death in people with kidney cancer. Bavencio was first approved in 2017.


Dosing Info:

Bavencio is administered as an intravenous infusion, usually every two weeks.

Side Effects

Common side effects include fatigue, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea, nausea, decreased appetite, skin rash, infusion reactions and swelling of the hands, feet or ankles. Checkpoint inhibitors can cause an overactive immune response that harms healthy organs and tissues. Serious immune-mediated side effects can affect almost any organ including the lungs, liver, kidneys, intestines, skin and hormone-producing endocrine glands.

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Last Reviewed: July 3, 2020