Biopharmaceutical firm Exelixis has collaborated with healthcare firm Roche to evaluate the combination of cabozantinib and atezolizumab in a Phase Ib clinical trial to treat patients with metastatic solid tumours.

Cabozantinib is currently being developed by Exelixis and is an inhibitor of multiple-receptor tyrosine kinases observed during tumour cell proliferation and / or tumour neovascularszation.

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Atezolizumab is an anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy developed by Roche.

Expected to commence enrolment by the middle of this year, the dose escalation Phase Ib trial will evaluate the safety and tolerability of the combination in patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumours.

The number of subjects and cohorts in the overall study will depend on the results from this trial.

"The firms intend to involve a cohort of patients with previously untreated, advanced clear-cell, renal-cell carcinoma (RCC) and three cohorts of urothelial carcinoma (UC) patients."

The firms intend to involve a cohort of patients with previously untreated, advanced clear-cell, renal-cell carcinoma (RCC) and three cohorts of urothelial carcinoma (UC) patients.

Ipsen and Takeda may participate in the study and will have access to the results for potential future developments within the territories.

Cabozantinib is being further evaluated in a Phase I trial in patients with refractory metastatic UC and other genitourinary tumours.

Exelixis has also partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to evaluate cabozantinib in combination with BMS' PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab, either alone or in combination with ipilimumab in a late-stage combination trial in first-line renal cell carcinoma.

Within the US and Europe, cabozantinib tablets are currently approved for patients with advanced RCC who have received prior anti-angiogenic / VEGF-targeted therapy, while cabozantinib capsules are approved for the treatment of progressive, metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC).