Oncology

Our core strengths in medicinal chemistry and translational science enable us to discover and develop potentially differentiated, novel compounds against biologically or clinically validated targets. These strengths have been recognised by others, and we have successfully completed a number of partnering deals including:

• AstraZeneca (Porcupine inhibitor, RXC006, up to $377 million + royalties)
• Jazz Pharmaceuticals (Pan-RAF up to $206.5 million + royalties)
• Jazz Pharmaceuticals (two target collaboration: up to $210 million per target + royalties)
• Loxo Oncology /Eli Lilly (BTK inhibitor now progressing successfully in clinic)

Our oncology research programmes are focused on discovery and development of highly selective small molecule drugs for genetically defined cancers and immuno-oncology.

Our discovery approach is based on three steps:

  1. Target: With the goal of de-risking our programs, we select biologically or clinically validated targets where we believe there is an opportunity to successfully apply our drug discovery capabilities in diseases of high unmet medical need.
  2. Design: Design molecules with differentiated properties, leveraging our design frameworks and our strength and experience in medicinal chemistry and translational biology to optimize a novel differentiated molecule for the target.
  3. Deliver: Focus our differentiated, targeted small molecules towards commercially attractive markets in which we believe we can be successful.

In addition to our wholly-owned undisclosed in-house research programmes, we have a research collaboration with Jazz Pharmaceuticals covering two targets on the Ras/RAF/MAPK pathway.

Collaboration showcase: In September 2020 Redx announced a new research collaboration with Jazz Pharmaceuticals

The 2020 collaboration recognises our expertise in oncology drug design following previous sale of our Pan-RAF inhibitor programme to Jazz in July 2019 and builds on this success with a second major partnership. In this collaboration, Redx will lead discovery and preclinical development activities on two targeted cancer therapies on the Ras/RAF/MAP kinase pathway. Redx received an initial $10 million on signing and is eligible for a further $10 million in year 2 of discovery, with up to a further $400 million in milestone payments, plus tiered royalties should the programmes be successful in generating a market approved drug.

Read the press release

We are excited to collaborate with Redx on two oncology programs in the Ras/Raf/MAP kinase pathway. Redx has established itself as a strong partner for Jazz, given the continued momentum in our existing collaboration on pan-RAF, and we look forward to this new collaboration and access to Redx’s small molecule discovery capabilities.

Robert Iannone

M.D., M.S.C.E., Executive Vice President, Research and Development, Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Targeted therapy in genetically defined cancers

Targeted therapies prevent the growth of cancers by inhibiting specific proteins required for tumour growth, with one major advantage being the reduced side effects versus traditional chemotherapy. Clinical trials of drugs which selectively target genetic drivers of the disease often have the best outcomes. Early in the discovery process, our targeted therapy programmes also involve discovering biomarkers to identify a genetically defined patient population that will benefit most from our drugs. We believe this approach will increase our success in the clinic, reduce overall development costs and help to accelerate the delivery of medicines to patients. Our ambition is to continue to discover and develop proprietary, small molecule drugs for a precision medicine approach to cancer therapy, addressing areas of high unmet medical need.

Immuno-oncology: an approach that uses the patient’s own immune system to identify and kill the tumour

Recent advances in immuno-oncology have been transformative, producing long-lasting, robust responses in a subset of cancer patients. These advances include the immune checkpoint inhibitor class of therapies, such as anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies. Despite these breakthroughs, there remains a significant proportion of patients who are resistant to such treatments, and therefore fail to benefit from these lifesaving therapies. Our programmes in immuno-oncology aim to provide monotherapy treatment options or combine our compounds with existing immune checkpoint inhibitors to improve response rates in these resistant patient populations.

Associated programmes