Roche extends Oryzon epigenetic cancer, hematology R&D collaboration

Port Vell, Barcelona

Roche ($RHHBY) has signed up to study lysine-specific demethylase-1 (LSD1) inhibitors with Oryzon (BME:ORY) for another year. The extension follows the $521 million (€463 million) epigenetics deal Roche struck with Oryzon in 2014, which gave the Big Pharma rights to LSD1 inhibitor ORY-1001 and an opportunity to collaborate with its new partner.

Barcelona, Spain-based Oryzon has spent the past two years working with Roche’s New York-based Translational Clinical Research Center to understand the potential for LSD1 inhibitors such as ORY-1001 to treat cancer and hematological conditions. And, having come to the end of the term of the original deal, Roche has committed to another year, moving the end date for the R&D alliance out to March 2017.

Oryzon has been pleased by the progress made to date. “This collaboration between Roche and Oryzon has been highly satisfactory and the success of the collaboration is reflected in four newly filed patent applications,” Oryzon CEO Carlos Buesa said in a statement. “We have been impressed by the experience of our partner and are convinced the results generated will strengthen the further clinical development of ORY-1001.”

To date, the partners have worked to better understand the mechanism of action of ORY-1001 and weigh up the possibility of developing the drug in indications beyond acute leukemia. The purpose of the extension is to retain the support of Oryzon for an additional 12 months, a period in which it will work to finalize the transfer of technology and knowledge generated through the collaboration. The transfer includes technology and knowledge Oryzon thinks will prove useful in future clinical trials.

Oryzon is in the middle of a Phase I/IIa trial of the asset in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. The trial started out as a multiple ascending dose study, at the completion of which Oryzon kicked off the second stage of the program. That stage, which dosed its first patient in November, is designed to give Oryzon and Roche an early look at the efficacy of ORY-1001.

- read the statement (PDF)

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