PEGPH20: Targeting Hyaluronan in a Unique Investigational Approach to Cancer Treatment

Lead therapeutic candidate PEGPH20 (pegvorhyaluronidase alfa) is the PEGylated version of Halozyme’s proprietary recombinant human hyaluronidase enzyme, rHuPH20. rHuPH20 temporarily degrades hyaluronan (HA), which is a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan or chain of natural sugars that is common throughout the body and can accumulate in the tumor microenvironment of certain solid tumor types.1-3 PEGylating rHuPH20 increases the plasma half-life of the enzyme, which increases exposure following systemic delivery and enables PEGPH20 to target tumor-associated HA in a unique investigational approach to cancer treatment.

How PEGPH20 Works

In tumors, accumulated HA creates barriers to drug delivery. Enzymatically degrading accumulated HA in preclinical solid tumor models with PEGPH20 has been shown to reduce tumor pressure, improve vascular perfusion, and decrease hypoxia, enabling increased access of anti-cancer therapeutics and immune cells.4 The increased access may allow more anti-cancer agents and immune cells to accumulate in the tumor, which may lead to increased tumor cell killing.

How PEGPH20 Is Being Studied

Halozyme is conducting studies across multiple solid tumor types to examine if PEGPH20’s demonstrated ability to degrade accumulated HA may help increase the effectiveness of anti-cancer and immuno-oncology therapeutics.

1. Kultti A, Li X, Jiang P, Thompson CB, Frost GI, Shepard HM. Cancers (Basel). 2012;4(3):873-903.
2. Whatcott CJ, Diep CH, Jiang P, Watanabe A, et al. Clin Cancer Res. 2015;21(15):3561-3568.
3. Nikitovic D, Tzardi M, Berdiaki A, Tsatsakis A, Tzanakakis GN. Front Immunol. 2015;6:169.
4. Thompson CB, Shepard HM, O’Connor PM, et al. Mol Cancer Ther. 2010;9(11):3052-3064.

PEGPH20 is an investigational drug and has not been approved for human use. The development and potential approval of PEGPH20 involves risks and uncertainties detailed in Halozyme's annual and quarterly reports to the SEC on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q under Risk Factors.


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