Collaborations, Deals

Array joins Pfizer on anti-cancer combos, the latest in a string of binimetinib combinations

Pfizer $PFE has struck a deal with Boulder-based Array BioPharma $ARRY to fund clinical trials involving several anti-cancer combinations from both drugmakers.

The plan is to test the potential benefits of combining molecularly targeted therapies with immunotherapies. The companies will start with combining Array’s MEK inhibitor binimetinib with Pfizer’s investigational PARP inhibitor talazoparib, and avelumab, a human anti-PD-L1 IgG1 monoclonal antibody.

Ron Squarer

Array’s investigational drug binimetinib has had a few ups and downs this year. In March, Array walked back from plans to file its NDA after lackluster data in NRAS-positive melanoma diminished its prospects for approval. But data from a combo study involving binimetinib and encorafenib in BRAF-mutant advanced melanoma later in the year were more promising.

The drug is in several Phase III trials in combination with drugs from Genentech, Roche, and AstraZeneca. Now, the drug will be tested in combination with Pfizer’s investigational therapies.

“These novel approaches combining targeted therapy and immunotherapy hold great potential to help patients fighting cancer in different indications, with an initial main focus on lung and pancreatic cancer,” said Array’s CEO Ron Squarer in a statement.

Under the deal, Array and Pfizer will collaborate on a Phase Ib clinical trial to test a series of combinations involving binimetinib, avelumab and talazoparib across various tumor types. Initially the focus will be in non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, and additional indications will be explored at a later stage.

The study is expected to begin by the third quarter of 2018. The trial will be sponsored and funded by Pfizer, with Array providing binimetinib supply.


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