BOULDER, Colo.—Array BioPharma recently announced anoncology agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, for the development of each company'ssmall-molecule Checkpoint kinase I (ChK-1) program. The programs includeGenentech's compound GDC-0425 (RG7602), currently in Phase I, andArray's compound ARRY-575, which is being prepared for aninvestigational new drug application to initiate a Phase I trial incancer patients.Genentech and Array have worked together since 2004 to advance certainoncology programs into clinical development. In 2010, one resultingdrug, GDC-0068, an AKT inhibitor, entered Phase I clinical testing.GDC-0068 is currently advancing into a Phase 1b trial. Array researcherscontinue to advance other preclinical programs under Array'scollaboration agreement with Genentech.
Under the terms of the agreement, Genentech is responsible for allclinical development and commercialization activities. Array willreceive an upfront payment of $28 million and is eligible to receiveclinical and commercial milestone payments up to $685 million and up todouble-digit royalties on sales of any resulting drugs. Full financialterms have not been disclosed.
"We're delighted to expand our long-standing relationship withGenentech, a leading innovator of important new cancer therapies," saidRobert E. Conway, CEO Array BioPharma. "Combiningboth companies' programs will maximize our chances for success indeveloping and commercializing this novel cancer therapy. We believeChK-1 inhibition is a key strategy for enhancing the efficacy ofchemotherapeutic and other agents in cancer patients."
ChK-1 is a protein kinase that regulates the tumor cell's response toDNA damage often caused by treatment with chemotherapy. In response toDNA damage, ChK-1 blocks cell cycle progression in order to allow forrepair of damaged DNA, thereby limiting the efficacy of chemotherapeuticagents. Inhibiting ChK-1 in combination with chemotherapy can enhancetumor cell death by preventing these cells from recovering from DNAdamage. Both GDC-0425 and ARRY-575 are highly selective, oral ChK-1inhibitors designed to enhance the efficacy of some chemotherapeuticagents.