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GEN News Highlights : Jan 9, 2012

Pfizer Teams with SFJ on Phase III Study of Axitinib in Asia

Firms will evaluate VEGF receptor blocker as adjuvant therapy in patients at high risk of recurrent RCC.

SFJ Pharma is collaborating with Pfizer to carry out an Asia-based Phase III study of the latter’s investigational drug axitinib as an adjuvant treatment for patients at high risk of recurrent renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following nephrectomy. The drug, an oral, selective inhibitor of VEGF receptors 1, 2, and 3, is currently undergoing regulatory review in the U.S., Europe, and Japan as a treatment for advanced RCC.

Under terms of the deal between Pfizer and SFJ, the latter will provide the funding and clinical development supervision necessary to submit axitinib for review in the designated indication. The firm could receive milestone payments, and potentially earn-out payments if the drug is approved.

“We recognize the need to look for new and innovative ways to advance our clinical programs and bring our many promising compounds to patients with speed and quality, wherever they are in the world,” comments Garry Nicholson, president and general manager at Pfizer Oncology.

Axitinib is separately being evaluated in a randomized Phase III clinical trial in patients with treatment-naive as well as previously treated advanced RCC, and in a Phase II study for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.