The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced that it has entered into a joint collaboration with Synta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNTA) for the clinical development of ganetespib (formerly STA-9090) in patients with multiple myeloma.
“Our continued investment in drug development, whether through our annual Biotech Investment Awards or through our new Clinical Fund projects with biopharmas like Synta, signify the MMRF's continued commitment to share in the risk of drug development to ensure promising treatments are brought to patients as quickly as possible.”
In support of this partnership, the MMRF will provide funding of up to $1 million for a Phase 1 trial evaluating ganetespib as a single agent and in combination with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib for the treatment of relapsed multiple myeloma. The trial will be conducted through the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), which accelerates the development of novel and combination treatments for patients with multiple myeloma by promoting and facilitating collaborative research between industry and academia. Funding for this trial is made possible by the donor-supported MMRF Clinical Fund, which enables the MMRF to invest in the development of industry-owned compounds that have stalled in multiple myeloma development due to financial or market constraints, but have potential for treating this disease.
"There is a strong scientific and clinical rationale for studying Hsp90 inhibition in the treatment of multiple myeloma," said Sagar Lonial, M.D., Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and principal investigator on the Phase 1 trial. "Many of the proteins which are associated with multiple myeloma are known client proteins of Hsp90 and following treatment with bortezomib, Hsp90 related proteins are known to increase as a mechanism of resistance. We believe that ganetespib, both as a single agent and in combination with bortezomib, has the potential to become a useful addition to the armamentarium for the treatment of multiple myeloma patients."
Ganetespib is a second generation Hsp90 inhibitor that is currently being studied in 11 Phase 2 trials and has demonstrated clinical activity as a monotherapy, as well as a favorable safety profile.
"Ganetespib is the most advanced and actively studied of the second generation Hsp90 inhibitors and we are very excited to accelerate its development in multiple myeloma," said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRF and MMRC, and a multiple myeloma patient. "Our continued investment in drug development, whether through our annual Biotech Investment Awards or through our new Clinical Fund projects with biopharmas like Synta, signify the MMRF's continued commitment to share in the risk of drug development to ensure promising treatments are brought to patients as quickly as possible.
"The support of the MMRF and the MMRC allows us to accelerate the development of ganetespib in multiple myeloma," said Safi Bahcall, Ph.D., President and CEO, Synta Pharmaceuticals. "The MMRC is a unique resource that will help enlist the support of leading investigators in the field of multiple myeloma to conduct a multi-center trial. We look forward to working with these two organizations and Dr. Lonial to explore the potential role that ganetespib can play in treating patients with multiple myeloma."
Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium