New cancer therapy drug developed in Hefei high-tech zone
Trials of an advanced anti-cancer drug are getting underway in the Hefei high-tech zone – located in Hefei city, capital of East China's Anhui province.
The highly potent pan-RAF inhibitor, named IHMT-RAF-128, was developed by researcher Liu Qingsong and his team at the Hefei Institute of Material Science under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Although rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog – or RAS – mutations occur in about 30 percent of solid tumors, targeting RAS mutations other than KRAS-G12C is still seen as challenging.
As an alternative approach, developing inhibitors targeting RAF, the downstream effector of RAS signaling, is currently one of the main strategies for cancer therapy.
Studies have shown that IHMT-RAF-128 has good in vivo drug exposure and is suitable for oral administration. In addition, the compound also showed significant inhibition of tumor growth in mouse allotransplanted tumor models with multiple RAS/RAF protein mutations.
The IHMT-RAF-128 compound has been transferred to Anhui Tarapeutics Pharmaceutical Science Research Co Ltd and obtained the implied permission of the Center for Drug Evaluation of the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) in November 2022. It is currently undergoing clinical phase I trials for advanced malignant solid tumors.
The research work has been supported by top projects such as the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the research results have been published online in the European Journal of Pharmacology.