Blow to Roche's cancer immunotherapy prospects as second trial fails

11 May 2022 - 09:53
By TimesLIVE
The new setback will likely give pause to a range of rival pharmaceutical companies working on similar compounds in a class of drugs known as anti-TIGIT in a race where Merck & Co has been seen as closest behind Roche.
Image: 123RF/ILLIA URIADNIKOV/ File photo The new setback will likely give pause to a range of rival pharmaceutical companies working on similar compounds in a class of drugs known as anti-TIGIT in a race where Merck & Co has been seen as closest behind Roche.

Development of a new cancer immunotherapy pioneered by Roche was thrown in doubt on Wednesday when its drug tiragolumab failed to slow the progression of lung cancer in a second trial.

In a study, a combination of tiragolumab and Roche's established Tecentriq drug did not reduce the rate of disease progression in newly diagnosed cases of advanced non-small cell lung cancer when compared to a comparative group of patients on Tecentriq only.

That was after the Swiss drugmaker said in March the drug failed to slow the progression of a different, more aggressive form of lung cancer.

The new setback will likely give pause to a range of rival pharmaceutical companies working on similar compounds in a class of drugs known as anti-TIGIT in a race where Merck & Co has been seen as closest behind Roche.

Gilead Sciences last November exercised an option to collaborate with Arcus Biosciences on the anti-TIGIT drug domvanalimab.

GlaxoSmithKline in June 2021 struck a licensing deal worth up to $2 billion with iTeos Therapeutics Inc’s over an anti-TIGIT candidate.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Agenus Inc’s are collaborating on a drug under a May 2021 partnership.

Coherus BioSciences in January exercised an option to licence a drug candidate by Shanghai Junshi Biosciences for the US and Canadian markets.

Reuters