Basilea and Roche join forces to fight cancer

Basilea and Roche, two Basel-based pharmaceutical companies, have entered into a collaboration. Drugs from the two companies will be used in combination to explore treatment for patients with urothelial cancer.

Image Credit: Roche
Image Credit: Roche


Basilea and Roche plan to treat patients with urothelial (bladder) carcinoma using a combination of Basilea’s derazantinib and Roche’s PD-L1-blocking immune-checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab. According to a press release from Basilea, a biomarker-driven multicohort phase 1/2 study is expected to begin mid-2019.

Derazantinib “inhibits the colony-stimulating factor-1-receptor kinase (CSF1R),” explained Dr Marc Engelhardt, Chief Medical Officer of Basilea. “CSF1R inhibition has the potential to enhance the response to atezolizumab’s immune-checkpoint inhibition.” This combination potentially offers a promising new treatment approach in patients with urothelial cancer. “We are very pleased with this collaboration. This is an important study as it explores a novel targeted treatment approach that addresses the high medical need of patients with urothelial cancer,” said Dr Engelhardt.

Basilea will be the sponsor of the study and Roche will provide clinical supply of atezolizumab. The planned study will assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the derazantinib-atezolizumab combination.

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