Roche axes early-phase inflammatory disease drug

Roche disclosed the termination of inflammatory disease drug RG6174 in a pipeline update that saw new assets enter the clinic. (Roche)

Roche has axed inflammatory disease drug RG6174. The asset advanced into phase 1 studies late in 2017 but has now reached the end of the road at Roche.

Switzerland’s Roche pulled RG6174, also known as GDC-0334, from its pipeline in the latest quarterly update (PDF) to its R&D activities. The action comes weeks after Genentech, which was sponsoring a phase 1 trial of the drug, terminated a clinical study in healthy volunteers well before hitting the enrollment target. Genentech cited “molecule development was terminated” as the reason for stopping the trial. 

The termination of the clinical trial and molecule follows slower-than-expected progress for RG6174. Genentech went into the trial expecting to enroll 106 subjects and wrap everything up by September 2018. The enrollment target subsequently rose to 120 subjects.

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Genentech never got close to either target, though. In September, the trial’s targeted completion date slipped to May. The following month, Genentech pushed back the target again, this time to July.

In the end, Genentech stopped the trial in April. The study enrolled 66 participants, a little more than half the number of people Genentech hoped to recruit and dose going into the study. 

Neither Roche nor Genentech has publicly disclosed the reason for the termination of the asset, nor did they say much about it while it was still in active development. Roche included the drug and the associated phase 1 trial in its first-quarter 2018 pipeline update but kept quiet about its mechanism and targeted indications. 

Roche disclosed the termination of RG6174 as part of a pipeline update that saw some new assets enter the clinic. The new entrants to phase 1 were wet age-related macular degeneration prospect RG7921, asthma candidate RG6244 and diabetic macular edema asset RG6179.

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