Profile: Verastem Inc (VSTM.OQ)
18 Dec 2014
Verastem, Inc., incorporated on August 4, 2010, is a clinical biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells. The Company also develops companion diagnostics. The Company has technology to create a stable population of cancer stem cells that it uses to screen for and identify small molecule compounds that target cancer stem cells. The Company’s advanced programs target the Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK), and the PI3K/mTOR signaling pathways. The Company’s lead FAK inhibitor, VS-6063, is in Phase 1/1b testing in ovarian cancer. The Company’s solution is to discover and develop an oncology therapeutics targeting CSCs along with companion diagnostics. The Company is focused on the discovery and development of small molecules to allow flexibility in the design of molecules for optimized efficacy and safety primarily as orally available drug candidates. In February 2014, the Company announced that it has acquired the license to VS-4718 held originally by Poniard Pharmaceuticals.
The Company intends to incorporate patient selection markers and CSC-specific biomarkers into companion diagnostics for its product candidates for use in identifying patients who are likely to benefit from treatment. The Company is developing its product candidates for the treatment of multiple cancer types, initially mesothelioma, ovarian and breast cancer, and in the future, other cancers driven by CSCs. The Company is evaluating VS-6063 as a potential therapy for mesothelioma, ovarian cancer and other solid tumors driven by CSCs. The Company identified the CSC-targeted activity and is evaluating VS-4718 as a potential therapy for cancers driven by CSCs. The PI3 kinase/mTOR pathway plays a central role in cancer cell proliferation and survival. There are four Class 1 PI3K enzymes, known as alpha, beta, gamma and delta, and two mTOR complexes known as mTORC1 and mTORC2. VS-5584 is an orally available small molecule that potently and selectively inhibits PI3K/mTOR signaling.
The Company competes with Astellas Pharma Inc., Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Pfizer Inc., OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Boston Biomedical Inc. and Stemline Therapeutics, Inc.
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