The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC today announced a five-year strategic research collaboration agreement to evaluate Jazz’s investigational HER2-targeted bispecific antibody, zanidatamab, in multiple HER2-expressing cancers.
This collaboration will combine MD Anderson’s translational medicine and clinical research expertise with Jazz’s expanded oncology drug development capabilities to explore the potential of zanidatamab as monotherapy and in combination with other treatments for patients with different tumor types and stages. These include its potential applications in early-stage breast cancer, in treatments where other HER2-directed therapies have failed, cancers with varying degrees of HER2-expression, and potentially rare, tissue-agnostic cancers.
Current data indicate that zanidatamab has anti-tumor activity in multiple HER2-positive solid tumors, including positive results from a pivotal clinical trial in patients with HER2-amplified biliary tract cancer. We are pleased to expand our research efforts with Jazz through this new collaboration, which aims to address the significant unmet need in HER2-expressing solid tumors and to find safe and effective alternatives to chemotherapy in diseases such as early-stage breast cancer.”
Funda Merrick-Bernstam, MD, MD Anderson Chair of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics
MD Anderson has played a key role in breakthrough cancer therapy research and was a key contributor to the initial investigation exploring the use of zanidatamab against an effective target in the treatment of multiple tumors and the subsequent Phase II HERIZON-BTC-01 trial in patients with treatment-refractory HER2-amplified biliary tract cancer. Results presented at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting demonstrated durable responses and a confirmed objective response rate of 41%. The presentation was selected for Best of ASCO 2023® program. program.
Jazz and MD Anderson will form a joint steering committee to oversee the collaboration, which will fund multiple studies over its five-year term. Research under the collaboration is expected to begin in late 2023 or early 2024. This effort builds on a previous strategic collaboration between Jazz and MD Anderson focused on hematologic malignancies.
“We think janidatumab has the best potential as a bispecific antibody using a biparatopic binding, which results in blockade of HER2 signaling as well as immune-mediated cytotoxicity of HER2-expressing cancer cells. range of HER2-positive cancers,” said Rob Iannone, MD, executive vice president, global head of research and development for Jazz Pharmaceuticals. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with MD Anderson to further evaluate the potential of zanidatamab to transform the current standard of care in multiple HER2-expressing cancers. We are dedicated to advancing new treatment options for patients and we believe in the power of collaboration. To accelerate research into difficult cancers where persistent treatment gaps remain.”