Roche walks away from daclizumab pact

Roche and PDL Biopharm have announced that they will abandon their pact to develop and market daclizumab for organ transplant patients on longer-term maintenance therapy. The decision was made after a periodic internal review of PDL's development programs. Back in August, Roche also dropped its collaboration in the development of daclizumab for asthma, though it said it would continue to collaborate on daclizumab for transplant maintenance. When Roche pulled out, PDL said it would need to find a new partner in continue work on its asthma program. It looks like PDL will be searching for yet another partner if it wants to continue development of daclizumab.

"We are evaluating the overall transplant maintenance indication opportunity for daclizumab, while we continue to support the ongoing studies of daclizumab in relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis, and anticipate results from the ongoing Phase 2 CHOICE study, which is testing daclizumab in combination with beta-interferon, during 2007," said Mark McDade, Chief Executive Officer, PDL BioPharma. "In the meantime, efforts are ongoing to evaluate partnership opportunities for this important drug in asthma."

- read PDL's press release on Roche's departure from the program