Pierre Fabre and Roche extend pact on companion diagnostic for cancer

Pierre Fabre
The candidate is currently in phase 1/2 clinical studies in patients with relapsed or refractory solid tumors. (Pierre Fabre)

French biopharma Pierre Fabre and pharma giant Roche are extending their collaborative effort on the development of Fabre’s antibody drug conjugate candidate that targets insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) receptors.

Dubbed W0101, the candidate is currently in phase 1/2 clinical studies in patients with relapsed or refractory solid tumors. The first in-human trials began last year at sites in France and Spain.

Fabre and Roche began working together on the development of a robust prototype immunohistochemistry assay as a future companion diagnostic test for W0101, the company said. The two extended the collaboration for the retrospective determination of IGF-1R expression in patients enrolled in the study.

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The collaboration “is an important step in advancing this novel therapeutic option for cancer patients whose tumors overexpress IGF-1R,” Alexandre Passioukov, M.D., Ph.D.,  vice president for translational medicine at Pierre Fabre Research Institute, said in a statement (PDF). “It is noteworthy that the IGR-1R antibody used in the diagnostic assay binds a different epitope than the antibody from the therapeutic construct, both developed by Pierre Fabre Research Institute.”

W0101, which targets the IGF-1 receptor, is designed for the treatment of patients with tumors overexpressing IGF-1R and is currently being tested in a phase 1 clinical trial.

Last year, Fabre boosted its cancer pipeline when it snapped up California-based Igenica Biotherapeutics for an undisclosed price. The acquisition reinforced Fabre’s pipeline in oncology, its primary R&D focus area, and brought Igenica’s expertise in mAbs and immuno-conjugates into the fold.