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7 November 2018Americas

Pfizer teams up with Nektar in oncology deal

Pfizer has entered into an oncology collaboration with Nektar Therapeutics, a US development stage biopharma company.

The agreement, which was announced yesterday, November 6, will evaluate Nektar's lead immuno-oncology candidate, NKTR-214, with one of Pfizer’s treatments.

NKTR-214 is an “investigational immuno-stimulatory therapy designed to expand specific cancer-fighting CD8+ effector T cells and natural killer (NK) cells directly in the tumour micro-environment and increase expression of PD-1 on these immune cells”.

Under the new collaboration, Pfizer will initiate a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial to evaluate the anti-cancer activity of its combined agents avelumab and talazoparib with NKTR-214, and separately avelumab, enzalutamide with NKTR-214.

The collaboration will evaluate several regimens in multiple cancer settings, including metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 164,000 new cases of prostate cancer in 2018, with approximately 29,000 expected deaths.

Mary Tagliaferri, chief medical officer and senior vice president of clinical development at Nektar, said: “Importantly, this new clinical collaboration will allow us to understand how we might access multiple immuno-oncology and targeted modalities simultaneously to treat cancer in complementary and novel ways.”

Chris Boshoff, senior vice president of immuno-oncology, early development and translational oncology at Pfizer, added: “We hope to achieve our goal of improving the care of patients with difficult-to-treat cancers with unique immunotherapy-based regimens.”

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