Dr Susana Banerjee recently presented the updated results of the Verastem Phase 1/2 clinical trial (Frame study) at this years’s ESMO (the European Society for Medical Oncology) Congress. The results of the trial assessing a RAF/MEK inhibitor and FAK inhibitor in low-grade serous carcinoma also received recent coverage in The Guardian.
Verastem Oncology is a biopharmaceutical company. In May 2021 they have received break through therapy designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the combination of their investigational agent VS-6766 (a RAF/MEK inhibitor) with defactinib (a FAK inhibitor).
Following on from FRAME, Verastem have initiated the Phase 2 trial RAMP 201 which is currently recruiting in the United Kingdom and United States and will open shortly in Canada and Europe.
VS-6766 is an oral small molecule inhibitor of the RAF/MEK signaling pathway. In contrast to other MEK inhibitors in development, VS-6766 blocks both MEK kinase activity and the ability of RAF to phosphorylate MEK. This unique mechanism allows VS-6766 to block MEK signaling without the compensatory activation of MEK that appears to limit the efficacy of other inhibitors.
Defactinib (VS-6063) is an oral small molecule inhibitor of FAK and PYK2 that is currently being evaluated as a potential combination therapy for various solid tumors. Verastem has received Orphan Drug designation for defactinib in ovarian cancer in the US, EU and Australia. Preclinical research by Verastem Oncology scientists and collaborators at world-renowned research institutions has described the effect of FAK inhibition to enhance immune response by decreasing immuno-suppressive cells, increasing cytotoxic T cells, and reducing stromal density, which allows tumor-killing immune cells to enter the tumor.
Published 22 September, 2021