ArQule, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARQL) today announced the commencement of patient dosing in a Phase 1 clinical trial with ARQ 087, an orally bioavailable, potent multi-kinase inhibitor with pan-FGFR (fibroblast growth factor receptor) activity.
“FGFR has been a difficult target to drug historically, and we are pleased that we have been able to do so through the application of the Company’s proprietary ArQule Kinase Inhibitor Platform (AKIP™),” said Brian Schwartz, M.D., chief medical officer of ArQule. “We look forward to characterizing the activity of ARQ 087 in the clinical setting.”
The primary objective of the Phase 1 trial with ARQ 087 is determine its safety, tolerability and recommended Phase 2 dose. Patients with metastatic solid tumors who are refractory to available therapies or for whom no standard systemic therapy exists will be enrolled. The number of patients expected to be enrolled will depend on the number of patient cohorts investigated until dose-limiting toxicity is reached.
Fibroblast growth factors (FGF) and their receptors (FGFR) play important roles in cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell migration, cell survival, protein synthesis, and angiogenesis. Dysregulation of FGFR signaling has been implicated in a number of cancers, including squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), small cell lung cancer (SCLC), gastric, liver, breast, ovarian, endometrial, and bladder carcinomas, fueling significant interest in FGFRs as targets for therapeutic intervention.
ArQule is a biotechnology company engaged in the research and development of next-generation, small-molecule cancer therapeutics. The Company’s targeted, broad-spectrum products and research programs are focused on key biological processes that are central to human cancers. ArQule’s lead product, in Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical development, is tivantinib (ARQ 197), an oral, selective inhibitor of the c-MET receptor tyrosine kinase. The Company’s pipeline consists of ARQ 621, designed to inhibit the Eg5 kinesin motor protein, ARQ 736, designed to inhibit the RAF kinases, and ARQ 087, designed to inhibit fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR). ArQule’s current discovery efforts, which are based on the ArQule Kinase Inhibitor Platform (AKIP™), are focused on the identification of novel kinase inhibitors that are potent, selective and do not compete with ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for binding to the kinase.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the progress of ArQule’s clinical trial with ARQ 087, an inhibitor of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR). These statements are based on the Companies’ current beliefs and expectations, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Positive information about pre-clinical and early stage clinical trial results does not ensure that later stage or larger scale clinical trials will be successful. For example, ARQ 087 may not demonstrate a promising therapeutic effect; in addition, it may not demonstrate an appropriate safety profile in current or later stage or larger scale clinical trials as a result of known or as yet unanticipated side effects. The results achieved in later stage trials may not be sufficient to meet applicable regulatory standards or to justify further development. Problems or delays may arise during clinical trials or in the course of developing, testing or manufacturing these compounds that could lead ArQule to discontinue development. Even if later stage clinical trials are successful, unexpected concerns may arise from analysis of data or from additional data. Obstacles may arise or issues may be identified in connection with review of clinical data with regulatory authorities. Regulatory authorities may disagree with ArQule’s view of the data or require additional data or information or additional studies. In addition, the planned timing of initiation and completion of clinical trials for tivantinib are subject to the ability of ArQule to enroll patients, enter into agreements with clinical trial sites and investigators, and overcome technical hurdles and other issues related to the conduct of the trials for which each of them is responsible. There is a risk that these issues may not be successfully resolved. Drug development involves a high degree of risk. Only a small number of research and development programs result in the commercialization of a product. Positive pre-clinical data may not be supported in later stages of development.Furthermore, ArQule may not have the financial or human resources to successfully pursue drug discovery in the future. For more detailed information on the risks and uncertainties associated with ArQule’s drug development and other activities, see ArQule’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Neither ArQule nor Daiichi Sankyo undertakes any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements.