Two companies will collaborate to develop a combination therapy for melanoma

Pharma giants Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have agreed to run a joint clinical trial to see how effective a combination of Pfizer’s candidate molecule palbociclib with GSK’s approved drug Mekinist (trametinib) is at treating advanced or metastatic melanoma.

Combination therapies are common in cancer treatment, but it is unusual for two large companies to collaborate so early in a clinical campaign. In a statement, Pfizer’s Garry Nicholson said that the company is committed to looking at novel combinations of cancer drugs. ‘This includes combining our own cancer medicines with each other, as well as with those of other companies where there is strong scientific rationale,’ he added, pointing to preliminary data that suggest potential synergistic effects between trametinib and palbociclib.