Aclaris Therapeutics Announces the Publication of Zunsemetinib Preclinical Research in Pancreatic Cancer in Scientific Translational Medicine
WAYNE, Pa., December 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACRS), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of new drug candidates for immune-inflammatory diseases, announced today the preclinical research publication of zunsemetinib in pancreatic cancer in the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine, December 1, 2021.
The article, titled “The MK2 / Hsp27 axis is a major survival mechanism for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma under genotoxic stress”, presents the results of a preclinical study using cell lines derived from patients and a mouse model of Autochthonous pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma which evaluated the role of MK2, as well as the impact of zunsemetinib (ATI-450), Aclaris’ experimental oral MK2 inhibitor, in pancreatic cancer. This study was a multi-year collaboration between Aclaris and the Washington University School of Medicine, led by the lab of Dr. Kian-Huat Lim, MD, PhD, associate professor of oncology and Dr. Patrick Grierson, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Oncology.
In the study, Dr Lim and his team identified the MK2 / HSP27 axis as an important resistance mechanism leading to survival of pancreatic tumor cells after exposure to the chemotherapy components FOLFIRINOX – the current gold standard treatment for cancer of the breast. pancreas. His team also demonstrated that DNA damage induced by the components of FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy increased tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa) in pancreatic cancer cells, which had the dual effect of impacting cell death and cell survival, and that selective inhibition of MK2 downstream of TNFÎ± signaling abrogated survival by blocking activation of HSP27 and beclin1-mediated autophagy, which allowed TNFÎ± to execute its pro- mechanism. dead. With this understanding, his team then showed that mouse survival in an indigenous KPPC model of pancreatic cancer was statistically significantly prolonged (p
âThis study introduces a new, targeted MK2 approach to the treatment of pancreatic cancer,â said Dr. Lim. “We are very excited about the potential of this combination therapy and believe that it should be advanced in clinical trials to determine whether inhibition of MK2 may enhance the effect of FOLFIRINOX base chemotherapy in patients with a pancreatic cancer without causing additional side effects. “
Based on these results and the clinical data generated by Aclaris’ clinical development program with zunsemetinib, Aclaris envisions a future clinical program for the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer using one of the other candidates. Aclaris MK2 inhibitor drugs.
The authors of the article are Patrick M. Grierson, Paarth B. Dodhiawala, Yi Cheng, Timothy Hung-Po Chen, Iftikhar Ali Khawar, Qing Wei, Daoxiang Zhang, Lin Li, John Herndon, Joseph B. Monahan, Marianna B. Ruzinova, and Kian-Huat Lim, and the article can be accessed here: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/scitranslmed.abb5445.
About Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc.
Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of novel drug candidates to meet the needs of patients with immune-inflammatory diseases who do not have satisfactory treatment options. The company has a portfolio of multi-step drug candidates powered by a robust R&D engine exploring the regulation of protein kinases. For more information, please visit www.aclaristx.com.
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