BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM), focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer, today announced the oral presentation of preclinical data by the Company’s scientific collaborator David G. DeNardo, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Department of Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, at the Keystone Symposium on Cancer Pathophysiology being held March 28 – April 1, 2016 in Breckenridge, CO.
“To date, single-agent immunotherapy has achieved limited clinical benefit for patients suffering from pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. DeNardo. “This is thought to be due to abundance of tumor-associated immune-suppressive cells in pancreatic tumors along with the dense stroma that prevents T cell entry. Our data show that Verastem’s FAK inhibitor dramatically reduced tumor stroma and reduced numbers of immunosuppressive cells in pancreatic cancer models. Further, when the FAK inhibitor was combined with immune checkpoint antibodies, the tumors became highly responsive leading to a near tripling of survival times relative to checkpoint inhibitors alone.”
Jonathan Pachter, PhD, Verastem Head of Research, added: “The data presented today by Dr. DeNardo at the Keystone Symposium provide important support and rationale for the ongoing Phase 1 dose-escalation clinical study evaluating Verastem’s FAK inhibitor VS-6063 in combination with pembrolizumab and gemcitabine in patients with pancreatic cancer.”
Details for the presentation at the Keystone Symposium on Cancer Pathophysiology are as follows:
Title: Reprogramming the Tumor Microenvironment to Facilitate
Responses to Immunotherapy
Session: Immune Cells I: Adaptive and Innate Immune Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment (TME)
Date and time: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 8:00 – 11:15 AM MT
A copy of the oral presentation will be available following the presentation at http://bit.ly/R3M6wc
About Focal Adhesion Kinase
Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase encoded by the PTK-2 gene that is involved in cellular adhesion and, in cancer, metastatic capability. VS-6063 (defactinib) and VS-4718 are orally available compounds that are potent inhibitors of FAK. VS-6063 and VS-4718 utilize a multi-faceted approach to treat cancer by reducing cancer stem cells, enhancing anti-tumor immunity, and modulating the local tumor microenvironment. VS-6063 and VS-4718 are currently being studied in multiple clinical trials for patients with cancer.
About Verastem, Inc.
Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. Our product candidates utilize a multi-faceted approach to treat cancer by reducing cancer stem cells, enhancing anti-tumor immunity, and modulating the local tumor microenvironment. Our most advanced clinical product candidates are the Focal Adhesion Kinase inhibitors, VS-6063 and VS-4718, and the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, VS-5584. For more information, please visit www.verastem.com.
Verastem forward-looking statements notice:
This press release includes forward-looking statements about Verastem’s strategy, future plans and prospects, including statements regarding the development and activity of Verastem’s product candidates, VS-6063, VS-4718 and VS-5584, and Verastem’s FAK, PI3K/mTOR and diagnostics programs generally, the utility of FAK inhibitors for the treatment of cancer, the timeline for clinical development and regulatory approval of our product candidates, the structure of our planned or pending clinical trials, our rights to develop or commercialize our product candidates and our ability to finance contemplated development activities and fund operations for a specified period. 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 Verastem’s product candidates 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 our product candidates will cause unexpected safety events, that Verastem will be unable to successfully initiate or complete the clinical development of its product candidates, that the development of Verastem’s product candidates will take longer or cost more than planned, and that Verastem’s product candidates will not receive regulatory approval or become commercially successful products. Other risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading “Risk Factors” in Verastem’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and in any subsequent SEC filings. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect Verastem’s current views with respect to future events, and Verastem does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.