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Basilea presents preclinical data on anti-angiogenic activity of derazantinib at ENA 2020

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Basel, Switzerland, October 26, 2020

Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. (SIX: BSLN) today reported that data on the anti-angiogenic activity of the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor derazantinib were presented at the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR (ENA) Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, that took place as a virtual event on 24-25 October, 2020. In addition to FGFR1-3 derazantinib also inhibits the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2). The presented data from several preclinical models demonstrate that derazantinib has an anti-angiogenic effect, which may contribute to its overall anti-tumor activity in FGFR-driven cancers.

The prevention of new blood vessel formation (anti-angiogenesis) is an established approach in cancer therapy as it deprives the growing tumor from oxygen and nutrients. VEGFR2 is a primary target for anti-angiogenic agents in the treatment of cancers.

Dr. Laurenz Kellenberger, Chief Scientific Officer, said: “Our development strategy for derazantinib is focused on strengthening the evidence for its differentiation versus other FGFR inhibitors. The preclinical data on derazantinib’s anti-angiogenic activity presented at the conference show that it may provide additional activity on top of its established primary anti-tumor effects in FGFR-positive solid tumors. Based on its unique kinase inhibition profile, we are exploring derazantinib’s potential for enhanced activity alone and in combination with other anti-cancer agents such as the anti-VEGFR2 antibody ramucirumab, or the PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab within our ongoing clinical program FIDES.“

The following e-poster was presentedat the EORTC-NCI-AACR Virtual Symposium 2020:
Presentation # Authors/title
101 P. McSheehy, J. Boult, S. Robinson, F. Bachmann, M. El-Shemerly, L. Kellenberger, H. Lane

Derazantinib, an oral fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor, in phase-2 clinical development, shows anti-angiogenic activity in preclinical models

For further information, please visit https://event.eortc.org/ena2020

About derazantinib

Derazantinib is an investigational orally administered small-molecule FGFR inhibitor with strong activity against FGFR1, 2, and 3.1 FGFR kinases are key drivers of cell proliferation, differentiation and migration. FGFR genetic aberrations, e.g. gene fusions, mutations or amplifications, have been identified as potentially important therapeutic targets for various cancers, including intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA), urothelial, breast, gastric and lung cancers.2 In these cancers, FGFR genetic aberrations are found in a range of 5% to 30%.3
Derazantinib also inhibits the colony-stimulating-factor-1-receptor (CSF1R) kinase.1, 4 CSF1R-mediated signaling is important for the maintenance of tumor-promoting macrophages and therefore has been identified as a potential target for anti-cancer drugs.5 Preclinical data has shown that tumor macrophage depletion through CSF1R blockade renders tumors more responsive to T-cell checkpoint immunotherapy, including approaches targeting PD-1/PD-L1.67
Derazantinib has demonstrated antitumor activity and a manageable safety profile in a previous biomarker-driven phase 1/2 study in iCCA patients,8 and has received U.S. and EU orphan drug designation for iCCA. Basilea is currently conducting three clinical studies with derazantinib. The first study, FIDES-01, is a registrational phase 2 study in patients with inoperable or advanced iCCA. It comprises one cohort of patients with FGFR2 gene fusions and another cohort of patients with mutations or amplifications.9 The second study, FIDES-02, is a phase 1/2 study evaluating derazantinib alone and in combination with Roche's PD-L1-blocking immune-checkpoint inhibitor, atezolizumab, in patients with advanced urothelial cancer, including metastatic, or recurrent surgically unresectable disease, expressing FGFR genetic aberrations.10 The third study, FIDES-03, is a phase 1/2 study evaluating derazantinib alone and in combination with Lilly’s anti-VEGFR2 antibody ramucirumab and paclitaxel or with Roche’s PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, atezolizumab, in patients with advanced gastric cancer with FGFR genetic aberrations. Basilea in-licensed derazantinib from ArQule Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A.

About Basilea

Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, focused on the development of products that address the medical challenges in the therapeutic areas of oncology and infectious diseases. With two commercialized drugs, the company is committed to discovering, developing and commercializing innovative pharmaceutical products to meet the medical needs of patients with serious and life-threatening conditions. Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: BSLN). Additional information can be found at Basilea's website www.basilea.com.

Disclaimer

This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements, such as "believe", "assume", "expect", "forecast", "project", "may", "could", "might", "will" or similar expressions concerning Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. and its business, including with respect to the progress, timing and completion of research, development and clinical studies for product candidates. Such statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Derazantinib and its uses are investigational and have not been approved by a regulatory authority for any use. Efficacy and safety have not been established. The information presented should not be construed as a recommendation for use. The relevance of findings in nonclinical/preclinical studies to humans is currently being evaluated.

For further information, please contact:

Peer Nils Schröder, PhD

Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
Phone +41 61 606 1102
E-mail media_relations@basilea.com
investor_relations@basilea.com

This press release can be downloaded from www.basilea.com.

References

  1. T. G. Hall, Y. Yu, S. Eathiraj et al. Preclinical activity of ARQ 087, a novel inhibitor targeting FGFR dysregulation. PLoS ONE 2016, 11 (9), e0162594
  2. R. Porta, R. Borea, A. Coelho et al. FGFR a promising druggable target in cancer: Molecular biology and new drugs. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology 2017 (113), 256-267
  3. T. Helsten, S. Elkin, E. Arthur et al. The FGFR landscape in cancer: Analysis of 4,853 tumors by next-generation sequencing. Clinical Cancer Research 2016 (22), 259-267
  4. P. McSheehy, F. Bachmann, N. Forster-Gross et al. Derazantinib (DZB): A dual FGFR/CSF1R-inhibitor active in PDX-models of urothelial cancer. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2019 (18), 12 supplement, pp. LB-C12
  5. M. A. Cannarile, M. Weisser, W. Jacob et al. Colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) inhibitors in cancer therapy. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2017, 5:53
  6. Y. Zhu, B. L. Knolhoff, M. A. Meyer et al. CSF1/CSF1R Blockade reprograms tumor-infiltrating macrophages and improves response to T cell checkpoint immunotherapy in pancreatic cancer models. Cancer Research 2014 (74), 5057-5069
  7. E. Peranzoni, J. Lemoine, L. Vimeux et al. Macrophages impede CD8 T cells from reaching tumor cells and limit the efficacy of anti–PD-1 treatment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 2018 (115), E4041-E4050
  8. V. Mazzaferro, B. F. El-Rayes, M. Droz dit Busset et al. Derazantinib (ARQ 087) in advanced or inoperable FGFR2 gene fusion-positive intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. British Journal of Cancer 2019 (120), 165-171. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01752920
  9. FIDES-01: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03230318
  10. A. Chaudhry, C.N. Sternberg, M. de Santis et al. FIDES-02: a phase 1b/2 study of derazantinib as monotherapy and combination therapy with atezolizumab in patients with surgically unresectable or metastatic urothelial cancer and FGFR genetic aberrations Journal of Clinical Oncology 2020; 38, no. 6_suppl. TPS590. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04045613

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