Our key product candidates include:
Cilengitide is an investigational agent that is the first in a new class of potential targeted anti-cancer drugs — the integrin inhibitors — to reach Phase III clinical development. Cilengitide is thought to inhibit certain integrins involved in tumor cell growth and involved in the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). Cilengitide is currently being investigated in a Phase III trial (CENTRIC) for the treatment of glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of brain tumor. Additional Phase I/II trials are ongoing in other tumor types such as NSCLC and SCCHN.
Further trials are conducted by the us National Cancer Institute (NCI).
TH-302 is an investigational hypoxia-targeted alkylating agent that is thought to be activated under severe tumor hypoxic conditions, a hallmark of many cancers. Areas of low oxygen levels (hypoxia) in solid tumors are due to insufficient tumor blood vessel supply. Similarly, the bone marrow of patients with hematological malignancies has also been shown, in some cases, to be severely hypoxic. TH-302 is currently under evaluation in a Phase III trial in combination with doxorubicin versus doxorubicin alone in patients with soft tissue sarcoma. TH-302 has completed a randomized Phase II trial in combination with gemcitabine versus gemcitabine alone in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. It is also being investigated in hematological malignancies and combination trials in solid tumors in Phase I. Merck KGaA signed a license and co-development agreement for TH-302 with Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc.
L-BLP25 is an investigational MUC1 antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy that is designed to stimulate the body's immune system to identify and target cells expressing the cell surface glycoprotein MUC1. MUC1 is over-expressed or aberrantly expressed in many cancers, such as NSCLC, and has multiple roles in promoting tumor growth and survival. L-BLP25 is currently under evaluation in the Phase III START and INSPIRE trials for the treatment of unresectable stage III NSCLC.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, obtained the exclusive worldwide rights for development and commercialization of L-BLP 25 from Oncothyreon Inc., Bellevue, Washington, USA, in 2007, before rights excluding Canada with co-development activities for the United States were obtained in 2001. In Japan, Merck KGaA entered into a co-development and co-marketing agreement for L-BLP25 with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan.