AVEO Acquires Clinical Stage Anti-Cancer Compound From Kirin
Although this information is very preliminary, 7 out of 7 success isn't bad. A VEGFterm inhibitor curtails the construction of new blood vessels to a solid tumour thereby "suffocating" it but does not address the cause of the cancer itself.
AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer medicines, today announced it has acquired from Kirin Brewery Co., Ltd. an exclusive license to develop and commercialize Kirin's highly potent and selective, once-a-day, oral VEGF receptor inhibitor, KRN951, in all territories outside of Asia. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. KRN951 is currently completing a 30-patient Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors in which the maximum tolerated dose of KRN951 has been established. Results recently presented at the EORTC-NCI-AACR meeting in Prague by lead investigator Dr. Ferry Eskens of the Department of Medical Oncology, Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, found that of seven patients with refractory renal cell carcinomaterm enrolled to date, all have achieved either a partial response or stable disease as defined by the trial protocol, with one patient exhibiting a response lasting more than 2.5 years. Treatment with KRN951 in the trial was well-tolerated. The most common side effect seen in the trial was hypertension -- an expected mechanism-based toxicity. Blood pressure was readily controlled by standard antihypertensive agents in all but one of the patients who developed hypertension during the trial. AVEO expects to commence Phase II clinical studies for KRN951 by mid-2007. Given the strong activity signal in the Phase I trial, AVEO initially plans to develop KRN951 for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma, but also intends to develop this well-tolerated VEGF receptor inhibitor as a combination treatment in multiple solid tumor types. AVEO will apply its unique Human Response Prediction(TM) Platform to identify optimal chemotherapyterm combinations, as well as additional patient populations likely to respond to KRN951 monotherapy and combination therapy.
"The licensing of KRN951 is a significant event for AVEO, as we continue to build out a clinical-stage portfolio of targeted therapies intended to serve major unmet medical needs in cancer," said Tuan Ha-Ngoc, president and chief executive officer of AVEO. "AVEO's strategy has been to develop a balanced portfolio of products that address the major pathways implicated in cancer. Like AV-412, AVEO's EGFRtermtermterm/HER2 inhibitor currently in Phase I clinical trials, KRN951 is directed against a validated target demonstrated to be important in multiple cancer types but has unique properties that confer upon it the real potential to become best-in-class." "The benefit of VEGF receptor inhibition in multiple tumor types is now well-accepted," added Dr. Rick Klausner, former director of the National Cancer Institute and a member of AVEO's Scientific Advisory Board. "Notwithstanding this, however, the field also recognizes that, as has been the case with many other novel mechanisms, first generation inhibitors may be sub-optimal in important respects. There is no doubt that a significant opportunity remains for a potent, specific, and well-tolerated VEGF receptor inhibitor, particularly one with the target selectivity of this compound that can easily be combined with other anti-cancer drugs." "We are very pleased to be partnering KRN951 with AVEO," said Katsuhiko Asano, President of Pharmaceutical Division, Kirin Brewery Co., Ltd. "Although Kirin had the opportunity to partner KRN951 with a number of different companies, we believe that AVEO's unique expertise in cancer biology and commitment to translational medicine offer the best chance for realizing the benefit that KRN951 may have for cancer patients."