Genentech adds a new program for Syndax’s lead cancer drug to its Tecentriq combo platform

Genentech is adding a new trial using Syndax’s lead drug entinostat to its platform for testing new drug combinations with its PD-L1 drug Tecentriq (atezolizumab).

The cancer drug giant set up a program called Morpheus for these combos. Now their researchers will use the combination therapy to treat metastatic HR+, HER2- breast cancer.

Briggs Morrison

This is the second development deal that Syndax $SNDX has put together with Genentech. The first centered on a combination of the biotech’s lead effort with Tecentriq in a Phase Ib/II trial for triple negative breast cancer. The Phase II part of that study is expected to complete enrollment in the first half of this year.

These kinds of add-on approaches to treating cancer have spawned a tidal wave of trials. But in the PD-1/L1 world the two leaders in the field — Merck’s Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo — have overshadowed atezo.

Syndax CEO Briggs Morrison, though, has close ties with Genentech and offered a thumbs up on the deal.

While checkpoint inhibitors have shown initial promise in triple-negative breast cancer, there is a clear need to augment the effectiveness of such therapies in the setting of HR+, HER2- breast cancer.

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