Roche Sees Biomarker-Guided Discovery As Key To Unlocking Tumor Microenvironment
This article was originally published in Pharmaceutical Approvals Monthly
For Roche, PD-L1 is just the first target to emerge from its big investment in understanding the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. The company’s research operations use biomarkers to guide discovery and increasingly important early development and combination strategies – potentially a more fruitful use of biomarker strategies than parallel development of companion diagnostics and therapeutics.
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Roche is betting that its tumor immunophenotype research can guide combination therapy that will alter the tumor microenvironment, making tumor types than have been resistant to PD-1/L1 inhibitors sensitive to immunotherapy.
Roche's broad cancer immunotherapy pipeline features a dozen novel agents, including the first candidates from new therapeutic platforms for bispecific antibodies and personalized cancer vaccines.
Merck's PD-1 inhibitor holds the first cancer indication based on biomarkers rather than tumor location. The most significant market will be colorectal cancer, but Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo is pending for the same subgroup and Roche's Tecentriq could eventually gain a broader approval.