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Astellas multiple myeloma partnership

Astellas Pharma Global Development is partnering with the non-profit Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) on the clinical development of a potential new treatment for relapsed multiple myeloma

Astellas Pharma Global Development is partnering with the non-profit Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) on the clinical development of a potential new treatment for relapsed multiple myeloma.

The drug, currently code-named OSI-906, is a potential first-in-class selective small molecule, dual kinase inhibitor of both insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and insulin receptor (IR). It is already in phase III clinical development as a potential treatment for adrenocortical carcinoma, as well as in phase II trials in ovarian cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. OSI-906 is also being evaluated in combination with OSI Pharmaceuticals' Tarceva (erlotinib) in non-small cell lung cancer.

Astellas acquired OSI-906 when it bought OSI Pharmaceuticals in May of last year for $4bn, a move that was largely fueled by the company's desire to add Tarceva to its product line-up in order to replace declining revenues from two of its own main products, the organ-rejection drug Prograf (tacrolimus) and the urology drug Flomax (tamsulosin).

MMRF and APGD have agreed to fund a phase I trial of OSI-906 in relapsed multiple myeloma as a single agent and in combination with the proteasome inhibitor Velcade (bortezomib), which is marketed by Takeda.

The study will be conducted through the non-profit Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), which facilitates collaborative research between industry and academia, with partial funding for the trial coming from the MMRF Clinical Fund, which is supported by private donors. The fund is targeted toward speeding the development of industry-owned compounds for multiple myeloma that have not been made priorities by the companies that own them.

MMRC is led by MMRF but also involves 15 other member institutions, including the Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and the University of Chicago.

In August 2010, MMRC agreed to collaborate with Astex Therapeutics on a phase II clinical trial of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor, AT7519, to treat patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

5th May 2011

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