Array Biopharma and Pfizer have joined forces to examine several cancer-targeting combinations, which will include the former’s MEK inhibitor and a PARP inhibitor as well as an anti PD-L1 medication.
According to the deal, the duo will work on a phase 1b trial to investigate several new combinations of Array’s MEK inhibitor binimetinib and Pfizer’s PARP inhibitor talazoparib together and partner German Merck’s PD-L1 Bavencio (avelumab). Pfizer is to sponsor and fund the trial and Array will provide the binimetinib. The study is anticipated to begin in the third quarter of 2018, Array stated and a multi-arm trial to establish dosing will follow.
While the biotechs are beginning with non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, studies utilizing the combinations of other types of cancer will follow shortly after.
“Preclinical data indicate that combining binimetinib with an immune checkpoint inhibitor and talazoparib could be a rational combination to test in the clinic,” said Chris Boshoff, M.D., senior vice president and head of immuno-oncology, early development and translational oncology at Pfizer Global Product Development.
Boshoff added, “We are looking forward to initiating the clinical studies with Array BioPharma to explore anti-tumor activity across various novel combination strategies, including both doublet and triplet approaches”.
Talazoparib’s original developer, BioMarin, had sold it in 2015 and the drug made its way to Pfizer from its acquisition of Medivation last August. This month, talazoparib improved progression-free survival over chemotherapy in phase 3 trial involving patients with germline (inherited) BRCA1/2-positive (gBRCA+) locally advanced and/or metastatic breast cancer
Array was forced to remove its NDA for binimetinib due to phase 3 data, in the rare skin cancer NRAS-mutant melanoma, not obtaining FDA approval. Array declared that its other trials would endure and that pulling of the application would not negatively affect a study of a binimetinib-encorafenib combination against another melanoma mutation.