Merck, Pfizer,  Syndax Collaborate to evaluate combination drug for ovarian cancer

Merck, Pfizer, Syndax Collaborate to evaluate combination drug for ovarian cancer

Dr. Luciano Rossetti Head of Global Research & Development of the biopharma business of Merck

Dr. Luciano Rossetti
Head, Global Research & Development, Merck biopharma business


Multinational pharmaceutical companies, Merck, Pfizer and Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have entered into a collaboration agreement to evaluate avelumab, an investigational fully human anti-PD-L1 IgG1 monoclonal antibody, in combination with Syndax’s entinostat, an investigational oral small molecule that targets immune regulatory cells (myeloid-derived suppressor cells and regulatory T-cells), in patients with heavily pre-treated, recurrent ovarian cancer.
Avelumab is currently under clinical investigation across a broad range of tumor types by the Merck-Pfizer Alliance. This is an exclusive agreement between the alliance and Syndax to study the combination of these two investigational agents in ovarian cancer. Syndax will be responsible for conducting the Phase 1b/II clinical trial in ovarian cancer.
“This collaboration with Syndax adds a new dimension to our quest to pursue combination immuno-oncology regimens based on compelling preclinical rationale and the potential to generate clinical results superior to those achieved with either agent alone,” said Dr. Mace Rothenberg, Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer Oncology.
“Combination therapy is the next frontier in immuno-oncology and a key strategy for the alliance,” said Dr. Luciano Rossetti, Head of Global Research & Development of the biopharma business of Merck. “Avelumab as a monotherapy has already shown promising early activity in ovarian cancer in a Phase Ib trial, and through our ongoing research and this collaboration with Syndax, we will hopefully be able to make a real
difference to women fighting this complex cancer.”
“We are delighted to be working with the alliance to explore the potential benefits of entinostat in combination with avelumab for ovarian cancer patients,” said Dr. Briggs W. Morrison, Syndax’s Chief Executive Officer. “The continued interest from leading companies in investigating the potential of entinostat in combination with checkpoint inhibitors reflects positively on the potential mechanism of action of the molecule, and also reinforces our clinical strategy to explore entinostat for the benefit of patients across a broad range of solid tumor indications.”
Dr. Mace Rothenberg Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer Oncology.

Dr. Mace Rothenberg
Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer Oncology.

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