Phoenix Molecular Designs and Roche partnered on Wednesday to develop a molecular diagnostic to help stratify triple-negative breast cancer patients.
Roche will develop an assay to detect activation of RPS6KA3, which Phoenix said preliminary data suggests is present in up to 80% of TNBC patients. Phoenix said it plans to use the diagnostic in clinical trials for its lead program, PMD026, an oral small molecule RSK inhibitor that is expected to start a Phase I/Ib trial this year in TNBC patients.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
There are currently no approved targeted therapies with a specific TNBC indication. PARP inhibitor Lynparza olaparib from AstraZeneca plc and Merck & Co. Inc is approved to treat HER2-negative breast cancer patients with a BRCA mutation; clinical trials of the compound did include TNBC patients. In addition, last year Roche reported data showing PD-L1 inhibitor Tecentriq atezolizumab met the co-primary endpoint of improving progression-free survival (PFS) in the Phase III IMpassion130 trial as first-line treatment for TNBC.
HER2 (EGFR2; ErbB2; neu) – Epidermal growth factor receptor 2; PARP – Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase; PD-L1 (B7-H1; CD274) – Programmed cell death 1 ligand 1; RPS6KA3 (RSK2) – Ribosomal protein S6 kinase 90kDa polypeptide 3; RSK – Ribosomal protein S6 kinase