Roche and C4 Therapeutics have formed a strategic collaboration to develop novel treatments in the field of targeted protein degradation, in a deal potentially worth $750 million. 

The work will utilise C4’s technology to develop new treatments that target disease-causing proteins and facilitate their rapid destruction and clearance from the cell. 

Under the terms of the deal, C4 will initially develop therapeutics for a specific set of target proteins, and after the defined preclinical development phase is completed, Roche has the choice of pursuing further development and commercialisation. 

Specific financial details weren’t released, but C4 said it will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and additional development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments per target, as well as sales milestone payments and potential tiered royalties on sales of products resulting from the agreement. 

The potential value of the deal over time is greater than $750 million, the firm noted.

‘Encouraging’ data for cancer immunotherapy

Meanwhile, Roche has posted what it says is “encouraging” data on its mid-stage immunotherapy atezolizumab for bladder cancer.

Data from the Phase II IMvigor 210 trial, which assessed the drug in heavily pre-treated people with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, showed median overall survival of 11.4 months in those with higher levels of PD-L1 expression, and 7.9 months overall. 

The study also showed that 84% of patients who responded to atezolizumab continued to do so regardless of their PD-L1 status, when the results were assessed with longer median follow-up of 11.7 months.

"It is encouraging to see that the majority of people with advanced bladder cancer who responded to atezolizumab maintained their response with longer follow up," said Sandra Horning, Roche's chief medical officer and head of global product development.

The Swiss drug giant said it is planning to submit the data soon to health authorities and the US Food and Drug Administration, under breakthrough therapy designation.