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Home Industry News Roche enters into collaboration agreement for cancer drug

Roche enters into collaboration agreement for cancer drug

7th October 2008

Roche, Genentech and GlycArt have entered into a collaboration agreement for the development and marketing of a potential treatment for cancer.

The deal includes a license from GlycArt – a firm wholly-owned by Roche – to Genentech for the development and commercialisation of its GA101 molecule.

Both firms will develop the humanised anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody engineered to increase direct and immune-mediated target cell death.

The molecule is being assessed as a potential treatment for haematological malignancies, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other oncology-related B-cell disorders.

All three firms will share development costs and Genentech will record $105 million (60 million pounds) in research and development expenses in its upcoming quarterly results.

William M Burns, chief executive officer of the pharmaceutical division of Roche, said: “The exciting work in monoclonal antibody engineering carried out by our scientists at GlycArt is now moving through Roche group companies to the next stage in developing clinically differentiated treatments.”

Pablo Umana, chief scientific officer and co-founder of GlycArt said GA101 has the potential to extend the benefit of current standards of care as a result of its unique mode of action and could include patients who do not respond well to existing drugs.

Last month, Roche published new data showing that Avastin (bevacizumab) is the sole biologic to boost overall survival when used as a first-line treatment in metastatic colorectal patients with K-Ras wild-type gene status.

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