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Jazz Pharmaceuticals, MD Anderson Partner on Zanidatamab Studies in HER2-Expressing Cancers

NEW YORK – Jazz Pharmaceuticals will work with MD Anderson Cancer Center to further develop its investigational HER2-targeted bispecific antibody zanidatamab.

Under the strategic partnership announced Tuesday, MD Anderson and Jazz will evaluate the agent in multiple HER2-expressing cancer types, including early-stage breast cancer and biliary tract cancers as well as in rare, tissue-agnostic cancers. The collaborators will test zanidatamab's activity as a monotherapy and in combination with other therapies.

MD Anderson will bring to the deal its clinical and translational research capabilities, while Jazz will contribute its oncology drug development infrastructure. They will jointly establish a steering committee and fund multiple studies over five years.

According to a June data readout from the Phase IIb HERIZON-BTC-01 trial, zanidatamab benefited patients with treatment-refractory HER2-amplified biliary tract cancers. MD Anderson investigators took part in that trial as well as in earlier research.

Zanidatamab came to Jazz through a 2022 deal worth up to $1.76 billion with Zymeworks. Jazz now has exclusive rights to the agent outside of certain Asian and Pacific territories where BeiGene holds the rights.

Jazz believes that zanidatamab, which is designed to bind to two non-overlapping HER2 epitopes in a structure called biparatopic binding, could benefit patients with tumors that have a range of HER2 expression levels as well as patients who haven't responded to existing HER2-targeted agents.