Pharma Focus Asia

Daiichi Sankyo and Puma Biotechnology Announce Research Collaboration with Major Cancer Center in HER2-Mutated Cancer

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited and Puma Biotechnology, Inc. have announced a preclinical research collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to explore the combination of Daiichi Sankyo’s investigational antibody drug conjugate DS-8201 and Puma Biotechnology’s irreversible pan-HER tyrosine kinase inhibitor neratinib (NERLYNX®) in HER2-mutated or HER2-positive solid tumors.

A team of scientists led by Maurizio Scaltriti, PhD, and in collaboration with a team of clinical investigators led by Bob Li, MD, will use isogenic models and established patient-derived xenograft models to assess the susceptibility of HER2-mutated or HER2-positive cancers to DS-8201, neratinib and other HER2-targeting therapies, elucidate mechanisms of action and resistance of these various tumor types, and evaluate the potential for synergistic combinations. Daiichi Sankyo and Puma Biotechnology will co-sponsor the research.

“Since early clinical data suggest that DS-8201 may have activity beyond breast and gastric cancers, the archetype HER2-driven tumors, we are interested in studying this asset on a molecular level as well as in combination with other HER2-targeting agents,” said Tom Held, Vice President, Global Head, Antibody Drug Conjugate Task Force, Daiichi Sankyo. “In this collaboration, we are examining whether combining DS-8201 and neratinib, with its specific covalent binding to the HER2 receptor and associated increased internalization, is a rational combination therapy strategy to pursue. We are excited to join forces with Memorial Sloan Kettering and Puma to advance the understanding of combining HER2-targeted therapies to potentially treat various forms of HER2-mutated cancer.”

“We are pleased to enter into this research collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering and Daiichi Sankyo to explore the combination of neratinib and DS-8201,” said Alan Auerbach, Puma’s Chief Executive Officer and President. “Combination therapy with agents that address different and complementary pathways, with neratinib targeting the HER2 kinase and DS-8201 providing an innovative targeted delivery of a potent cytotoxic, represents an intriguing approach to the treatment of HER2 mutated tumors and helps to maximize the potential for both agents in treating cancers with a HER2 mutation.”

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