Firm will seek other partners to advance lead candidate.

Roche and Kosan are terminating their development and commercialization collaboration related to epothilone, a potential cancer treatment. The deal entered into in September 2002 will end after a transition period. Kosan will then reacquire worldwide rights to its epothilone program, including KOS-1584.

Data from an ongoing Phase I study of KOS-1584 demonstrated antitumor activity and tolerability in patients with solid tumors, according to Kosan. KOS-1584 reportedly showed signs of activity in patients with non-small-cell lung, ovarian, breast, prostate, pancreatic, head and neck, and colon cancers.

“Based on our discussions with Roche, we believe that the ending of our epothilone collaboration has been driven by a reprioritization within Roche’s research and development group rather than the value of our epothilone program,” according to Robert G. Johnson Jr., M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Kosan.

“Our control of the program permits us to determine the optimal strategy for advancing KOS-1584 into larger-scale clinical trials, potentially with a new collaborative partner, which we plan to actively seek. In the meantime, we intend to commence a Phase II clinical program. We continue to believe that KOS-1584 has best-in-class potential in the emerging epothilone market.”

“Roche believes that KOS-1584 is worthy to proceed into Phase II clinical trials, and that the Roche-Kosan collaboration has been highly productive,” notes Dan Zabrowski, global head of Roche Pharma Partnering.

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