SpringWorks Teams with Dana-Farber Institute on Potential Cancer Therapy

Farber_Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via GI

Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm SpringWorks Therapeutics has announced a research collaboration with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in a bid to advance its therapy development efforts for multiple myeloma and related diseases.

In a statement, SpringWorks said that the sponsored partnership is intended to further evaluate nirogacestat, its investigational gamma secretase inhibitor (GSI), with anti-B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) agents when applied to different multiple myeloma models in a preclinical setting. The research will also cover functional genomics approaches to explore the response and resistance actions to the GSI + BCMA combination. 

Nirogacestat, an oral, selective, small molecule GSI being explored for the treatment of desmoid tumors, has been observed to increase the cell surface density of BCMA in preclinical models, as well as reduce soluble BCMA levels. This can enhance the activity of BCMA-targeted therapies. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already given an Orphan Drug Designation to nirogacestat for treating desmoid tumors. It also granted Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy Designations for the treatment of adult patients diagnosed with progressive, unresectable, recurrent, or refractory desmoid tumors or deep fibromatosis. In addition, the drug has the green light from the European Commission for use on soft tissue sarcoma therapy.

The collaboration with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute adds to SpringWorks growing stable of partnerships as he latter seeks to find how nirogacestat reacts when applied with BCMA therapies across different modalities. The current collaboration with Dana-Farber places Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber associate professor of medicine Constantine Mitsiades, M.D., as the principal investigator of the research. 

"We are delighted to be collaborating with the Mitsiades Lab at Dana-Farber to expand our understanding of nirogacestat’s mechanism of action when combined with BCMA therapies. Dr. Mitsiades and his colleagues have been at the forefront of developing cutting-edge translational models of multiple myeloma and we believe that this collaboration has the potential to yield novel insights that can help us to further refine our approach to improving outcomes for these patients," commented Badreddin Edris, Ph.D., chief operating officer of SpringWorks. 

Dr. Mitsiades has also expressed delight over the agreement, praising SpringWorks for its commitment to advancing the clinical exploration into therapies that involve the combination of GSI and BCMA.

SpringWorks will be funding the research program with Dana-Farber and can exclusively license any new intellectual property that comes out of the endeavor. The company has a differentiated, targeted oncology portfolio of small molecule product candidates and is advancing 15 development programs that address highly prevalent and genetically defined types of cancer.

In early August 2021, the company announced that it has partnered with Seagen to evaluate nirogacestat in combination with SEA-BCMA for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. It also announced new clinical trials on children and young adults diagnosed with low-grade glioma for another drug called mirdametinib.

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