Pfizer and Debiopharm to co-develop skin cancer drug


Agree to conduct a Phase III trial of tremelimumab

The Swiss Debiopharm Group and Pfizer have agreed to conduct a Phase III trial of tremelimumab (also known as CP675,206), a fully human anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of melanoma. A biomarker will be used to select patients considered likely to respond to the treatment.

In April 2008, Pfizer discontinued a Phase III clinical trial of the drug after the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) review of interim data showed that the drug would not show superiority to standard chemotherapy. Analysis of the data from the discontinued trial identified the biomarker that will be used in patient selection for the upcoming trial.

Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm will be responsible for the trial, while Pfizer will handle worldwide commercialisation of tremelimumab.

"The continuation of the clinical development of tremelimumab with our partner, Debiopharm, is a demonstration of our commitment to personalised medicine for cancer patients," said Garry Nicholson, president and general manager of Pfizer's Oncology Business Unit.

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Financial terms of the co-development agreement were not disclosed.