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Pfizer Licenses PARP Inhibitor To Clovis Oncology

Biopharmaceutical company Clovis Oncology, Inc., Thursday announced an agreement with Pfizer Inc. (PFE) to takeover the worldwide development and commercialization of Pfizer's PARP inhibitor PF-01367338, currently in Phase 1/2 development for solid tumors. Pfizer is set to receive a stake in Clovis and will make a separate investment though its venture capital division.

Pfizer would pick up equity in Clovis Oncology as an upfront license fee, and would receive up to a separate $255 million as a series of milestones are achieved by Clovis. When the product hits the market, Pfizer would also receive royalties on any product sales. Pfizer Venture Investments, the venture capital arm of Pfizer, would make a separate equity investment in Clovis Oncology.

PARP - Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase is a nuclear enzyme involved in DNA repair and programmed cell death. The normal role of PARP of DNA repair is beneficial and promotes normal growth and proliferation of cells.

In tumor cells, however, the enzyme's activity and expression are up regulated and is linked to resisting the effects of chemotherapy. When PARP is inhibited, cancer cell death is achieved.

PF-01367338 would be developed by Clovis as both a monotherapy and in combination with chemotherapeutic agents for the potential treatment of selected cancer patients.

PF-01367338 is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial examining the maximum tolerated dose of oral PF-01367338 that can be combined with intravenous platinum chemotherapy in the treatment of solid tumors.

Supplementing this trial are two ongoing trials, currently using the IV formulation, a Phase 1/2 study in germline BRCA-mutant (gBRCA) breast and ovarian cancer and a Phase 2 study in the adjuvant treatment of triple negative breast cancer. Clovis intends to replace the IV formulation with the oral formulation in these studies.

Clovis was founded by former executives of Pharmion Corp., which was acquired by Celgene Corporation in 2008. The company is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, and has additional offices in San Francisco and London.

PFE closed Thursday's regular trading at $21.00, down $0.05 or 0.24%, on the NYSE.

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