Halozyme's (HALO) PEGPH20, Companion Hyaluronan Assessment Assay Will be Included in Precision Promise

October 4, 2016 6:34 AM EDT

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Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: HALO) announced that its investigational drug, PEGPH20, and a companion diagnostic assay for assessment of hyaluronan (HA) under development by Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. will be included in a groundbreaking pancreatic cancer clinical trial initiative called Precision Promise.

The Precision Promise initiative aims to change the current treatment approach to pancreatic cancer, offering options to patients based on the molecular profile of their tumor. This is being accomplished through the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network leading an unprecedented collaboration that brings together clinicians, researchers, and drug developers. Precision Promise plans to enroll patients at 12 initial consortium sites in Spring 2017.

President and CEO Dr. Helen Torley said: "Halozyme is proud to be participating in this important initiative that has the potential to change how pancreas cancer is treated and improve outcome for patients. I want to recognize The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network for their visionary leadership in bringing the community together. The selection of PEGPH20 and incorporation of HA testing into the trial supports the science and promise of our targeted therapy."

Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer related death in the United States and is anticipated to become the second around 2020. Nationally, only 4 percent of pancreatic cancer patients enroll in clinical trials.

"Precision Promise is an unprecedented opportunity for patients and is vital to move the field forward," said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "Instead of looking for the right patient for a clinical trial, we are designing the right clinical trial for each patient."

Halozyme's PEGPH20 is an enzyme that targets and degrades HA in the tumor microenvironment. HA is a glycosaminoglycan – a chain of natural sugars distributed throughout human tissue – that can accumulate in higher concentrations around certain cancer cells, potentially constricting blood vessels and impeding the access of other therapies. Patients with high levels of HA will receive PEGPH20 in combination with other therapies. In preclinical models, this approach has enabled higher concentrations of the therapeutic agent or the body's natural immune cells to reach the targeted tumor.

More information on Halozyme's phase 3 clinical trial of PEGPH20, HALO-301, may be found at www.halo301.com and additional background and vision of Precision Promise may be found at www.pancan.org/precision-promise.

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