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, presented data today at Cancer Advance at Harvard Medical School. Members of the Company’s management team participated in multiple panel discussions, and two posters describing ongoing clinical trials were presented.
Verastem presented posters on the ongoing registration-directed COMMAND study in mesothelioma and the ongoing Phase 1/1b study of lead FAK inhibitor defactinib in combination with paclitaxel at the conference.
“We are pleased to have initiated COMMAND and are aggressively opening sites worldwide,” said Robert Forrester, Verastem President and Chief Executive Officer. “Also, in the ongoing combination trial of defactinib and weekly paclitaxel in patients with ovarian cancer, paclitaxel was successfully combined with defactinib and we are encouraged by the early signs of clinical activity of the combination.”
During the dose escalation portion of the Phase 1/1b study, which included 6 patients, defactinib and paclitaxel were successfully combined, and one patient who was platinum resistant had a complete response by RECIST criteria. Enrollment for the expansion phase of the study continues.
“Research by Verastem, scientific cofounder Bob Weinberg and others have identified FAK as a critical regulator of the tumor-initiating capacity of cancer stem cells,” said Jonathan Pachter, Ph.D., Verastem Head of Research. “In addition to our clinical trial designs, the posters presented today demonstrate the ability of defactinib to preferentially kill cancer stem cells in preclinical models of both mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.”
Verastem executives also joined panel discussions throughout the day, addressing industry leaders from Eli Lilly, Harvard University, Johnson & Johnson, Mass General Hospital, and Pfizer, among others. President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Forrester moderated the investor-focused panel “Betting on Oncology: Investor Perspectives” and Chief Business Officer Dan Paterson joined colleagues to discuss efficacy and pricing issues on the “Regulatory and Reimbursement Pressures for Cancer Drugs” panel. Chief Medical Officer Joanna Horobin and Head of Research Jonathan Pachter addressed the audience in two Q&A discussions focusing on clinical trials in oncology.
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 VS-6063, or defactinib, and the Company’s FAK program generally, the timeline for clinical development and regulatory approval of the Company’s compounds, the expected timing for the reporting of data from ongoing trials, and the structure of the Company’s planned or pending clinical trials. 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 ongoing or later clinical trials, that data may not be available when we expect it to be, that the Company will be unable to successfully complete the clinical development of its compounds, including defactinib, 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.