Pharmaceutical companies partner to research combination therapy for ovarian cancer
In an effort to make more therapies available to improve chances of survival for the 239,000 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, researchers from pharmaceutical companies have partnered to assess the combination of investigational antibody avelumab and oral small molecule entinostat as a possible treatment.
The researchers come from Merck KGaA, of Germany and American-based Pfizer and Syndax Pharmaceuticals.
“This collaboration with Syndax adds a new dimension to our quest to pursue combination immuno-oncology regimens based on compelling preclinical rationale and the potential to generate clinical results superior to those achieved with either agent alone,” Dr. Mace Rothenberg, chief medical officer at Pfizer Oncology, said.
The combination would be indicated for patients whose disease recurred after being extensively pretreated.
Merck and Pfizer researchers have already begun clinical investigations of avelumab's effects on a range of tumor types. Entinostat is a product of Syndax.
“Combination therapy is the next frontier in immuno-oncology and a key strategy for the alliance,” Dr. Luciano Rossetti, head of global research and development at Merck's biopharma business, said. “Avelumab as a monotherapy has already shown promising early activity in ovarian cancer in a Phase Ib trial, and through our ongoing research and this collaboration with Syndax, we will hopefully be able to make a real difference to women fighting this complex cancer.”
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