Array and Genentech enter into collaboration potentially worth more than $700 million
BOULDER, Colo.—Array BioPharma recently announced an oncology agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, for the development of each company's small-molecule Checkpoint kinase I (ChK-1) program. The programs include Genentech's compound GDC-0425 (RG7602), currently in Phase I, and Array's compound ARRY-575, which is being prepared for an investigational new drug application to initiate a Phase I trial in cancer patients.
Under the terms of the agreement, Genentech is responsible for all clinical development and commercialization activities. Array will receive an upfront payment of $28 million and is eligible to receive clinical and commercial milestone payments up to $685 million and up to double-digit royalties on sales of any resulting drugs. Full financial terms have not been disclosed.
"We're delighted to expand our long-standing relationship with Genentech, a leading innovator of important new cancer therapies," said Robert E. Conway, CEO Array BioPharma. "Combining both companies' programs will maximize our chances for success in developing and commercializing this novel cancer therapy. We believe ChK-1 inhibition is a key strategy for enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapeutic and other agents in cancer patients."
ChK-1 is a protein kinase that regulates the tumor cell's response to DNA damage often caused by treatment with chemotherapy. In response to DNA damage, ChK-1 blocks cell cycle progression in order to allow for repair of damaged DNA, thereby limiting the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents. Inhibiting ChK-1 in combination with chemotherapy can enhance tumor cell death by preventing these cells from recovering from DNA damage. Both GDC-0425 and ARRY-575 are highly selective, oral ChK-1 inhibitors designed to enhance the efficacy of some chemotherapeutic agents.