06.03.2013 - Swiss Roche has gotten EU approval for Perjeta (pertuzumab). The antibody boosts efficacy of Herceptin by blocking HER dimerisation.
The European Commission gave the green light for a combination therapy of pertuzumab, Herceptin (trastuzumab) and docetaxel in previously untreated adult patients with HER2-positive metastatic or locally recurrent unresectable breast cancer. The recommendation for market approval is based on Roche’s Phase III CLEOPATRA study in which the combination therapy prolonged median progression-free survival for 6.1 months compared to Herceptin and chemotherapy alone. Furthermore, the treatment triggered a 34% reduction in the risk of death.
The improvement of Herceptin efficacy by Perjeta is due to a synergistic mode of action of the two antibody drugs. Herceptin blocks homodimerisation of HER2 when HER2 is overexpressed. The antibody prevents activation of HER2-dependent pathways by binding to the extracellular domain IV of the protein and thus blocks MAPK-dependent cell proliferation and PI3K-dependent inhibition of apoptosis. In contrast, Perjeta binds HER2 from the opposite side and prevents heterodimerisation with HER1 and HER3 proteins. Especially, inhibition of HER2/HER3 dimerisation seems important as HER3 supports PI3K-mediated cell proliferation following dimerisation with HER2.
“The EU approval of Perjeta is the result of years of research into the HER2 pathway and we are excited to offer a new treatment option for people with this aggressive disease,” said Roche’s CMO Hal Barron, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Head, Global Product Development. The combination therapy provides a clever strategy for extension of Herceptin’s life cycle. However, Roche is already evaluating a combination therapy of its antibody-toxin warhead T-DM1 with Perjeta.
03.07.2015 Biotech giant Biogen is investing CHF 1bn in a new pharmaceutical production plant in the Swiss town of Luterbach. Noted as one of the world’s oldest biotech firms, the new plant will create up to 400 jobs.
02.07.2015 Dutch biotech Amarna and Austrian Biomarker research centre CBmed have joined forces to develop several immunotherapies, including therapies against cancer and diabetes type 2. The joint venture will develop Amarna’s next generation viral vector platform.
30.06.2015 Pharma giant Novartis has bumped up its neuroscience portfolio with the recent purchase of Australian biotech Spinifex for a US$200m upfront payment plus US$500 in milestone payments. The acquisition is centred on Spinifex’ mid-stage pain drug EMA401.
24.06.2015 Swedish scientists have created artificial neurons that are capable of mimicking the function of human nerve cells. The researchers hope that, once minituarised, they may one day be used to restore disturbed neural function.
22.06.2015 For the 31st time, the ACHEMA has drawn the global chemical engineering and the process industry to Frankfurt. Although still overshadowed by petrol, the biobased economy is getting ready to step out into the limelight.
12.06.2015 The high-potential cancer immunotherapy market is fiercely fought, and small companies have trouble making their mark. Nordic companies Targovax and Oncos have joined forces to create a Nordic immuno-oncology champion named Polaris.
METTLER TOLEDO now offers a new family of high-precision weighing platforms that provide superior accuracy and reliability in harsh industrial conditions with flexibility to be used for many applications. more