GDC-0449 might be one of many cancer drugs in the pipeline at Genentech, but for its partner Lexington, MA-based Curis ($CRIS) this drug is the most advanced compound in its pipeline. Swiss drug giant Roche, the owner of Genentech, has told Curis that it could make at least one regulatory submission for approval for the compound as a treatment for a common form of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in 2011.
In March, Curis announced that Genentech's Phase II study of the drug in inoperable BCC patients met its primary goal of shrinking tumors of a certain percentage of patients. This was good news after the drug flunked in mid-stage studies Genentech conducted in patients with ovarian and colorectal cancers last year. Curis, which does not yet have a drug on the market, is eligible for up to $115 million in milestone payments through this program with Roche/Genentech as well as single-digit royalties on potential sales.