Seragon was a flop, but for Roche its spirit lives on


Roche would probably rather not mention its $725m takeover of Seragon, but it is nevertheless keeping the faith in the target company’s chosen mechanism of action, selective oestrogen receptor degraders (SERDs). In its fourth-quarter presentation today the Swiss firm revealed that it was putting a third-generation SERD, coded RG6171, into a phase III breast cancer study, in first-line ER-positive, Her2-negative disease. Just last November Sanofi had highlighted its work in this area, which has yielded the phase II asset SAR439859, but Roche now looks to have leapfrogged its rival. The mechanism is based on degrading or breaking down oestrogen receptors rather than merely blocking them, thus making it relevant in ER-positive breast cancer, whose growth is driven by these receptors. Seragon had brought with it two SERDs, RG6046 and RG6047, but both were discontinued a few years after the takeover (Pre-Esmo jitters for Roche, October 17, 2018).

SERDs in clinical development for ER+ve/Her2-ve breast cancer
Project Company Study detail
Phase III
RG6171 Roche 1st-line disease
Phase II
SAR439859 Sanofi Study vs letrozole in preoperative, postmenopausal disease
AZD9833 Astrazeneca Serena-2 study vs fulvestrant
Phase I
Rintodestrant G1 Therapeutics Study in advanced disease
SHR9549 Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Study in advanced disease
LSZ102 Novartis Single-agent or various combos
AZD9496 Astrazeneca Study vs fulvestrant completed
Source: EvaluatePharma &

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