7/11/2012 3:06:34 PM
Eisai and Versatem inked a research collaboration focused on the development of small molecule Wnt inhibitors. Verastem separately reported acquiring exclusive global rights to Pfizer’s Phase II-ready focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitor PF-04554878. The drug, designated VS-6063 by Verastem, is being developed for the treatment of solid tumors and is projected to start in Phase II development for treating mesothelioma next year. The new partnership with Eisai will use Verastem’s salinomycin candidate VS-507 as the starting point for the development of new analogs that target cancer stem cells. Verastem has put further development of VS-507 itself on hold in order to push on with other priority candidates. Compounds identified through the Eisai collaboration will be tested using Verastem’s Wnt signalling and cancer stem cell assays. The firm will retain ownership of compounds developed during the 12-month collaboration, with Eisai receiving royalties on future commercial sales of products, and retaining rights of first negotiation for development.
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