BOSTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTM), focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, announced today that Robert Forrester, Verastem President and Chief Executive Officer, will participate in a panel titled, “Live & Breathe: Building a Patient-Centered Biotech,” at the MassBio Patient Advocacy Summit on November 10, 2014 at 8:45 am ET at the Genzyme Center in Cambridge, MA.
“Improving patient care is at the core of what we aim to accomplish,” said Mr. Forrester. “We want to change the way cancer is treated and improve patient outcomes through the targeted killing of cancer stem cells. Engaging with patients and patient advocates early in the development process is critical to fully understanding the unmet needs that exist with currently available therapies. At Verastem, we have partnered with mesothelioma advocates worldwide and their experience has shaped our development programs and helped us to keep enrollment of our registration-directed study, COMMAND, on track. We are driven and passionate about the work we do because it gives hope to patients who have been diagnosed with cancer.”
At the MassBio Patient Advocacy Summit, industry leaders, patient advocates and other stakeholders are gathering to examine ways in which life sciences companies can more fully incorporate the patient voice into the work they do—not just approaching regulatory applications or at commercialization, but throughout the drug development cycle.
COMMAND is a registration-directed, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of VS-6063 in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The primary endpoints of COMMAND are progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). VS-6063 targets cancer stem cells which are an underlying cause of tumor progression and recurrence. The design of COMMAND allows the opportunity to enrich for patients with tumors low in the biomarker, merlin. Preclinical and early clinical research has demonstrated that low merlin levels may be predictive of increased effectiveness of FAK inhibitors such as VS-6063. The COMMAND study stratifies patients to evaluate the effect of VS-6063 in both the overall patient population and the subgroup of patients whose tumors are low in merlin.
COMMAND is expected to enroll approximately 350-400 patients at clinical sites in 12 countries, including the US, UK, Japan, Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and countries in mainland Europe. Eligible patients who had a partial response or stable disease following standard first-line therapy with platinum/pemetrexed will be stratified to merlin low or high and then randomized to receive either placebo or 400 mg of defactinib. For more information visit www.COMMANDmeso.com.
About Verastem, Inc.
Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM) is discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are an underlying cause of tumor recurrence and metastasis. Verastem is developing small molecule inhibitors of signaling pathways that are critical to cancer stem cell survival and proliferation: FAK, PI3K/mTOR and Wnt. For more information, please visit www.verastem.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements about the Company’s strategy, future plans and prospects, including statements regarding the development of the Company’s compounds, the timeline for clinical development of the Company’s compounds, the expected enrollment of the Company’s clinical trials, and the structure of the Company’s planned or pending clinical trials. The words “anticipate,” “appear,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “potential,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “continue,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Each forward-looking statement is subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statement. Applicable risks and uncertainties include the risks that the preclinical testing of the Company’s compounds and preliminary or interim data from clinical trials may not be predictive of the results or success of ongoing or later clinical trials, that data may not be available when we expect it to be, that enrollment of clinical trials may take longer than expected, that the Company will be unable to successfully complete the clinical development of its compounds, that the development of the Company’s compounds will take longer or cost more than planned, and that the Company’s compounds will not receive regulatory approval or become commercially successful products. Other risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and in any subsequent SEC filings. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events, and the Company does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.