CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTM), focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 8,501,763 claiming composition of matter for VS-4718, the Company’s novel, small molecule inhibitor of cancer stem cells through blockade of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). The U.S. patent grants coverage of VS-4718 into 2029. Corresponding patent applications are pending in major markets throughout the world including Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada.
Preclinical models of multiple tumor types have established the FAK pathway as critical for the growth and survival of cancer stem cells, which are an underlying cause of tumor metastasis and recurrence. Verastem recently initiated a Phase 1 open-label, multicenter, dose-escalation study of VS-4718 in patients with advanced cancer. The study is expected to enroll up to 40 patients at three U.S. locations.
“This patent is the cornerstone of our intellectual property estate for VS-4718, a potent inhibitor of FAK which we believe holds significant potential in the treatment of a variety of cancers,” said Robert Forrester, Verastem President and Chief Executive Officer. “VS-4718 is our second drug candidate targeting cancer stem cells to enter the clinic, following defactinib (VS-6063), which is entering a registration-directed clinical trial in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. We believe treatments targeting cancer stem cells will be critical to achieving durable clinical benefit in cancer.”
About Verastem, Inc.
Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTM) is discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are an underlying cause of tumor recurrence and metastasis. Verastem is developing small molecule inhibitors of signaling pathways that are critical to cancer stem cell survival and proliferation: FAK, PI3K/mTOR and Wnt. For more information, please visit www.verastem.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements about the Company’s strategy, future plans and prospects, including statements regarding the development of the Company’s compounds, including defactinib and VS-4718, and the Company’s FAK and diagnostic programs generally, the timeline for clinical development and regulatory approval of the Company’s compounds, the structure of the Company’s planned clinical trials and estimates of the Company’s ability to fund operations. 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 the Company’s compounds and preliminary data from clinical trials may not be predictive of the results or success of later clinical trials, that the Company will be unable to successfully complete the clinical development of its compounds, including defactinib and VS-4718, that the development of the Company’s compounds will take longer or cost more than planned, and that the Company’s compounds will not receive regulatory approval or become commercially successful products. Other risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and in any subsequent SEC filings. The forward-looking statements contained in this presentation reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events, and the Company does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.