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Jazz Pharmaceuticals, SU2C Partner on Research on RAF Inhibitors, Pediatric Solid Cancer

NEW YORK – Stand Up to Cancer and Jazz Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday announced a three-year, $4 million collaboration to advance treatments for children with solid cancers and develop pan-RAF inhibitors for RAF- and RAS-mutated solid cancers.

Stand Up to Cancer, or SU2C, will fund researchers working in these areas through its SU2C Catalyst program, which promotes collaboration between industry and academic scientists. Jazz, in turn, will provide these SU2C-funded researchers with access to two of its molecules and fund at least one research project.

One such project will likely involve Jazz's investigational compound, JZP815, a pan-RAF inhibitor that the partners hope may be an option for RAF- and RAS-mutated solid cancer patients who have stopped responding to currently available BRAF inhibitors. The partners will work on preclinical studies of JZP815.

Another project will likely involve Jazz's lurbinectedin (Zepzelca), a treatment that is currently US Food and Drug Administration-approved for metastatic small-cell lung cancer. Funding through this collaboration would enable researchers to begin evaluating the therapy in trials involving pediatric patients with solid tumors.

Beyond enabling research on Jazz's drugs, the SU2C and the drugmaker will also fund researchers to investigate access barriers among SCLC patients, especially those from underserved communities. Specifically, the partners will support an ethnography study, aiming to improve understanding of SCLC patients' experiences and attitudes about clinical trial participation, as well as information about the trials.

Within this project, researchers will also explore the attitudes and experiences of SCLC patients' providers, families, and caregivers. Robert Iannone, Jazz's executive VP of research and development and chief medical officer, said in a statement that this study may "generate insights into better care and health outcomes for diverse patient populations."