Roche Bows Out: AKT Prostate Cancer Treatment No Longer an Option

Roche has decided to discontinue development of its experimental AKT inhibitor ipatasertib, which had been under investigation in a Phase III trial for castration-resistant prostate cancer. This news was revealed in Roche’s 2022 full-year financial report, indicating a shift in the company’s focus for the coming year.

Roche is investing in a number of promising early-stage treatments, including ipatasertib, efmarodocokin alfa – which is currently in a Phase I trial for acute graft-versus-host disease – zinpentraxin alfa, which is being developed for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and gantenerumab, its Alzheimer’s hopeful. With these treatments, Roche is looking to make a positive impact on the lives of those suffering from these conditions.

After two unsuccessful Phase III studies, Roche recently declared they would be discontinuing their Alzheimer’s treatment drug, gantenerumab. This decision has disappointed many patients and their families who had placed their hopes on this treatment.

Ipatasertib is an innovative drug that has the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment. It works by blocking the activity of the AKT protein, which plays a key role in the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. By inhibiting this protein, Ipatasertib can help stop the spread of cancer and give hope to those affected.

Roche’s attempts to bring ipatasertib to the clinic have been met with challenges. In June 2020, its subsidiary, Genentech, announced that the candidate had only achieved one of two co-primary endpoints in the Phase III IPATential150 trial in metastatic CRPC.

In February 2021, the hopes of Ipatasertib to reach the late-stage of development were dashed when the company announced the termination of the Phase III IPATunity130 study in hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer. Despite its efforts, the candidate failed to meet the required efficacy endpoints of the study.

In 2019, Roche made a bold move to acquire Promedior for a whopping $1.4 billion, bringing the promising candidate, zinpentraxin alfa, into its fold. Zinpentraxin alfa is a recombinant form of human pentraxin-2, and is being studied as a potential anti-fibrotic immunomodulator. Currently, a Phase II trial is underway to investigate its efficacy in treating myelofibrosis.

Roche recently discontinued a Phase II study of efmarodocokin alfa, a recombinant human fusion protein targeting IL-22, as a potential treatment for COVID-19-related pneumonia. Despite this setback, efmarodocokin alfa still has promise as a treatment for inflammatory diseases.

A Busy Year Ahead

Roche is looking ahead to a number of exciting late-stage and regulatory milestones this year, despite having cut two programs. Get ready for what promises to be a landmark year for the company!

Vabysmo (faricimab-svoa) and Tecentriq (atezolizumab) are both awaiting U.S. approval for treatment of retinal vein occlusion – with Vabysmo offering a subcutaneous route of administration. Excitingly, this could bring a new wave of effective treatments for this challenging condition.

Roche’s glofitamab, an investigational bispecific monoclonal antibody, is on the brink of receiving U.S. approval as a third-line treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, while Polivy (polatuzumabvedotin-piiq) is awaiting regulatory approval to be used as a first-line therapy in this indication, in combination with chemotherapy. With these two potential treatments in the pipeline, Roche is paving the way for better care for people suffering from this type of cancer.

Roche is eagerly awaiting the results of four Phase III studies for Tecentriq, its immunotherapy drug, which is being tested either as a monotherapy or in combination with standard chemotherapy or biologic treatments. Additionally, Venclexta (venetoclax tablets), its lymphoma drug, is nearing the completion of two Phase III studies, one in multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome. These pivotal readouts could revolutionize the way these diseases are treated and bring much-needed hope to patients.

Roche is taking the fight to some of the most complex diseases, with six new molecular entities entering Phase I clinical trials. These treatments are targeting retinal disease, cystic fibrosis, and solid tumors, offering hope to millions around the world.

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