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Advancements in HER2-Targeted Cancer Treatments: The Potential of Bispecific Antibodies

Jazz is redefining what is possible in the treatment of cancer by improving on the standard of care across the oncology spectrum with life-saving or life-extending therapies, and by focusing on innovative areas of research like targeted therapy and immuno-oncology. Over the last year, Jazz has added promising new molecules to our pipeline, including an investigational therapy that targets HER2-positive solid tumors, such as gastric, biliary tract and breast cancers, to name a few. Due to their aggressive nature, these cancers can present a significant challenge for treatment and often have poor prognosis for patients.

HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a protein located in all cells and plays an important role in cell growth and survival. When cancer cells express higher-than-normal levels of HER2, they are considered to be HER2-positive.1 HER2 overexpression is common in solid tumors, including breast, gastric/gastroesophageal, ovarian, and biliary tract cancers to name a few.1 Since anti-HER2 medicines specifically target HER2 receptor expression or interfere with HER2 pathway activation, you may hear them referred to as “HER2-targeted therapies.” There are also other types of precision cancer therapies that target different proteins or receptors.

Some HER2-targeted therapies work by blocking the HER2 receptors from receiving the growth signals in HER2-positive cancer cells. By blocking the growth signals, anti-HER2 medicines can slow or stop the growth of HER2-positive cancers.1 Bispecific antibodies, which bind to more than one target of the HER2 receptor, are one type of emerging treatment being studied for targeting HER2-positive tumors.2 These antibodies are designed to recognize and bind to two different targets simultaneously, offering the possibility of increased specificity and efficacy compared to traditional monoclonal antibodies, which can only bind to one cellular target. 2

By targeting multiple antigens and enhancing the immune response against cancer cells, bispecific antibodies may help propel new standards of cancer care. As clinical research in multiple different cancer types continues to add the data available in this space, we look forward to progressing this treatment approach on behalf of patients who are in need for novel and potentially chemotherapy-free options. By investing in targeted therapies, Jazz continues to demonstrate our commitment to advancing cancer treatment and improving patient outcomes.


  1. Iqbal N, et al. Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) in Cancers: Overexpression and Therapeutic Implications. Mol Biol Int. 2014;2014:852748.
  2. Shim, H. Bispecific Antibodies and Antibody-Drug Conjugates for Cancer Therapy: Technology Considerations. Biomolecules. 2023; doi: 10.3390/biom10030360. Accessed May 12, 2023