Roche punts a PhI cancer drug out of the pipeline and back to Oryzon

Oryzon CEO Carlos Buesa

Little Oryzon Genomics in Spain picked up a considerable endorsement and financial support when Roche stepped in three years ago to partner on its lysine specific demethylase-1 (LSD1) inhibitor ORY-1001 (RG6016) for acute myloid leukemia and solid tumors. But it had to give up the deal and the $500 million in milestones that came with it after Roche decided to punt it out of the pipeline.

According to Oryzon, the drug didn’t make the cut at the Swiss pharma giant as it “reprioritized” its pipeline. Roche will see through an ongoing Phase I study in small cell lung cancer and then hand it all back to Oryzon, which plans to carry on with the work.

Investors hated seeing Roche go and took a big bite out of the stock $ORY, which initially fell about 30%. It’s down about 18% at the mid-day mark in Spain.

“We are obviously disappointed by this decision” said Oryzon CEO Carlos Buesa. “We have been informed that the decision was not data driven but a consequence of internal reprioritization of Roche’s pipeline. During the next weeks, Oryzon will focus its efforts to regain the control of the asset as soon as possible to ensure the continuation of the clinical development plan without interruptions. We are fully committed to develop ORY-1001, a first-in-class, best-in-class LSD1 inhibitor that we believe has a clear potential in a broad range of tumors”.

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