Pharma Focus Asia

Ivy Brain Tumor Center and BridgeBio Subsidiary QED Therapeutics Announce Collaboration to Advance Cancer Research and Treatment Options

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute, today announced a new collaboration with QED Therapeutics, Inc., a subsidiary of BridgeBio Pharma, Inc., (Nasdaq:BBIO) to investigate the FGFR1-3 tyrosine kinase inhibitor, infigratinib, for the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM).  With the goal of addressing unmet medical needs for those affected by malignant brain cancer, this collaboration will focus on targeting FGFR (fibroblast growth factor receptor) genetic alterations that have been shown to spur growth in malignant tumors.

“Five to seven percent of glioblastoma patients’ tumors are driven by FGFR signaling,” said Dr. Nader Sanai, director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center. “We believe our collaboration with QED Therapeutics will enable us to test how FGFR-driven GBM tumors respond to infigratinib. If proven effective, we then intend to move forward new combined drug strategies incorporating this target.”

In the preclinical studies, the Ivy Center will employ orthotopically implanted, well-characterized FGFR3 fusion patient-derived xenograft models. This is intended to allow the team to further explore the extent to which the drug crosses the blood-brain barrier and what activity it has in the brain.

“We believe the work we are undertaking with the Ivy Center will provide critical insight to shape our clinical development strategy for this disease,“ said Susan Moran, M.D., M.S.C.E., chief medical officer of QED Therapeutics. “Our hope is that infigratinib will become the backbone of new combination therapies to treat patients with glioblastoma.”

Infigratinib is an orally administered, FGFR1-3 selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor. QED Therapeutics has observed activity that appears to be meaningful in clinical trials for cancers that are driven by errors in the FGFR genes. These include chemotherapy-refractory cholangiocarcinoma with FGFR2 fusions and advanced urothelial carcinoma with FGFR3 genetic alterations.

“The intricacies of the brain have posed significant challenges for brain cancer research and the development of therapies,” said Gary Li, head of translational medicine at QED Therapeutics. “We believe collaborating with the Ivy Brain Tumor Center will enable us to move swiftly and further translational research that we hope will unlock the doors to effective treatment options.”

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