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Bayer and PCF launch darolutamide challenge awards for prostate cancer

The two projects will be awarded $1m each to support their clinical investigations

Bayer and the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and have awarded two Bayer-PCF Darolutamide Challenge Awards of up to $2m to support clinical investigations of Nubeqa (darolutamide) in prostate cancer.

The Challenge Awards fund high-risk, unfunded projects from academic institutions in the US.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer to be diagnosed in men in the US and is expected to be responsible for around 35,000 deaths this year.

The Challenge Awards will support the two novel clinical investigations with correlative research over the course of two years and will provide up to $1m to cover research costs and travel to the Annual PCF Scientific Retreat.

One of the projects to be awarded will be led by investigators from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The second project to receive funding will be led by investigators from the University of Chicago.

Developed by Bayer and Orion Corporation, Nubeqa is an androgen receptor inhibitor approved to treat certain prostate cancer patients.

Ian Webb, vice president and head of US medical affairs, oncology, Bayer, said that “continued research is essential” for this condition.

He added: “Collaborating with other innovators brings new research to the forefront, which has the potential to lead to new clinical uses for treatment options.”

Commenting on the projects, Howard Soule, executive vice president and chief science officer at PCF, said the foundation “[looks] forward with great anticipation to the results of their research”.

Nubeqa was first approved in 2019 by the US Food and Drug Administration for adults with non-metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer and later approved in combination with docetaxel chemotherapy for adults with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer or metastatic prostate cancer patients receiving their first line of hormonal treatment in 2022.