First up, Daiichi Sankyo and Puma Biotechnology (Nasdaq: PBYI) announced a preclinical research collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to explore the combination of Daiichi Sankyo’s investigational antibody drug conjugate DS-8201 and Puma Biotechnology’s irreversible pan-HER tyrosine kinase inhibitor Nerlynx (neratinib) in HER2-mutated or HER2-positive solid tumors.
Specifically, investigators will use disease models to assess the susceptibility of HER+ tumors to DS-8201, neratinib and other HER2-targeting therapies, further clarify mechanisms of action, the synergy of combination approaches and tumor resistance to therapy.
Financial terms of the collaboration are not disclosed, but it was noted that Daiichi Sankyo and Puma Biotechnology will co-sponsor the research.
“Since early clinical data suggest that DS-8201 may have activity beyond breast and gastric cancers, the archetype HER2-driven tumors, we are interested in studying this asset on a molecular level as well as in combination with other HER2-targeting agents,” said Tom Held, vice president, global head, Antibody Drug Conjugate Task Force, Daiichi Sankyo. “In this collaboration, we are examining whether combining DS-8201 and neratinib, with its specific covalent binding to the HER2 receptor and associated increased internalization, is a rational combination therapy strategy to pursue,” he added.
Vernalis enters into research collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo
Separately, UK-based Vernalis (LSE: VER) announced that it has entered into a drug discovery collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo utilizing Vernalis’ fragment and structure-based drug discovery platform against undisclosed oncology targets.
The financial terms of this collaboration are not disclosed, but Vernalis’ shares moved 4.19% higher to 12.50 pence.
Ian Garland, chief executive of Vernalis, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Daiichi Sankyo on this project. This is another excellent endorsement of our market leading fragment and structure-based drug discovery platform and we look forward to a successful collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo.”