• Verastem launches VS-6063 clinical trial
    Verastem launches VS-6063 clinical trial

Electrophoretic Separations

Verastem launches VS-6063 clinical trial

Feb 06 2013

Verastem has confirmed the initiation of a phase 1/1b trial of VS-6063 in combination with paclitaxel to investigate treatments for advanced ovarian cancer.

VS-6063 is a potent inhibitor of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and has shown signs of clinical activity in ovarian cancer in a single agent, phase 1 clinical trial.

The phase 1b trial is an open-label, multicentre, dose-escalation trial of the drug in combination with paclitaxel, with the endpoints of the study being safety, tolerability and efficacy/

Up to 30 patients in three US locations will be enrolled into the quantitative analysis, which Howard Burns from the Sarah Cannon Research Institute has high hopes for.

"In the phase 1 study we demonstrated that VS-6063 as a single agent was generally well tolerated, giving us optimism that this novel agent can be combined with the widely used drug paclitaxel.

"Moreover, clinically meaningful disease stabilization for about 6 months was observed in 3 of 4 patients with ovarian cancer treated with a dose of VS-6063 in the range of expected activity," she explained.

Robert Weinberg, Verastem co-founder believes that the FAK pathway is a critical component for the growth and survival of cancer stem cells, which are an underlying cause of tumour metastasis and recurrence.

Dr. Joanna Horobin, Verastem chief medical officer, also commented on the work, explaining that cancer stem cells are ultimately responsible for disease progression with ovarian cancer.

"Through FAK inhibition, we have the potential to provide more durable clinical responses for these diseases. Verastem has advanced the science of targeting cancer stem cells so that we can now clinically evaluate the therapeutic benefit of this approach in the treatment of cancer," she commented.

Verastem is striving to understand more about cancer treatment, with the company recently entering a biomarker agreement with Labcorp for the cancer stem cell agent companion diagnostic.

Posted by Neil Clark

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