Third trial of novel, synthetic small molecule Hsp90 inhibitor
LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 17, 2009--
Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA), a biopharmaceutical company
focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule
drugs to treat severe medical conditions, today announced that the first
patient has been treated in a Phase 1/2 clinical study of STA-9090, a
novel heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor, in hematologic
malignancies. This is the third clinical study to be initiated on
STA-9090, a synthetic, small molecule Hsp90 inhibitor with a novel
chemical structure that is unrelated to the ansamycin class of Hsp90
inhibitors, including 17-AAG.
“Hsp90 is recognized as a target with exciting potential for cancer
therapy because of its critical role in maintaining the function of a
number of cancer-promoting proteins,” said James Barsoum, Ph.D., Senior
Vice President, Research, Synta. “We and our collaborators have been
encouraged by results both from our preclinical data and our ongoing
Phase 1 trials in solid tumor cancers. In preclinical models, we have
seen potent activity in cancers that have become resistant to kinase
inhibitors such as imatinib (Gleevec(R)), erlotinib (Tarceva(R)),
and sunitinib (Sutent(R)), and, importantly, substantially
improved safety and potency compared to the first-generation, ansamycin
family of Hsp90 inhibitors, including activity in models resistant to
17-AAG. The collected data suggest hematologic malignancies are a
particularly good choice for the clinical development of STA-9090.”
The open-label Phase 1/2 study in patients with hematologic malignancies
is designed to identify the recommended dose of STA-9090 for further
study in a hematologic population, based on a twice-weekly intravenous
dosing schedule, and to characterize its safety and efficacy profile in
this patient population.
Additional trials for STA-9090, in additional indications, are planned
for later this year. Results from preclinical models, as well as results
from ongoing Phase 1 trials, are expected to be presented at scientific
and medical meetings before the end of the year.
In addition to the study announced today in hematologic malignancies,
Synta is currently conducting two Phase 1 clinical studies of STA-9090
both in solid tumors; one utilizing a weekly dose schedule and the other
a twice-weekly dose schedule.
In preclinical studies, STA-9090 has shown the ability to inhibit
multiple kinases with comparable potency to, and a broader activity
profile than specific kinase inhibitors such as imatinib, erlotinib, and
sunitinib. In addition, STA-9090 has shown potency 10 to100 times
greater than the ansamycin family of Hsp90 inhibitors such as 17-AAG, as
well as activity against a wider range of kinases. In in vivo
models, STA-9090 has shown strong efficacy in a wide range of cancer
types, including cancers resistant to Gleevec and Tarceva.
Hsp90 is an emerging therapeutic target of interest for the treatment of
cancer. It is responsible for the maturation and function of numerous
signaling proteins – known as ‘client proteins’ – that are associated
with cancer cell survival and proliferation. Many cancers result from
specific mutations in, or aberrant expression of, these client proteins.
Examples of cancer-associated client proteins of Hsp90 include c-KIT in
gastrointestinal stromal tumors, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)
in lung cancer, and BCR-ABL in chronic myelogenous leukemia. In
preclinical studies, inhibiting Hsp90 causes the degradation of these
proteins and cancer cell death. Inhibiting Hsp90 has also proven
effective in killing cancer cells that have developed resistance to
targeted therapies such as kinase inhibitors.
About Synta Pharmaceuticals
Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on
discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to
extend and enhance the lives of patients with severe medical conditions,
including cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. Synta has a unique
chemical compound library, an integrated discovery engine, and a diverse
pipeline of clinical- and preclinical-stage drug candidates with
distinct mechanisms of action and novel chemical structures. All Synta
drug candidates were invented by Synta scientists using our compound
library and discovery capabilities. For more information, please visit www.syntapharma.com.
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Pharmaceuticals Corp. Such forward-looking statements can be identified
by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will," "would,"
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forward-looking statements, including those described in "Risk Factors"
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Source: Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Rob Kloppenburg, 781-541-7125