Almac Diagnostic Services to Develop Companion Diagnostic for TP Therapeutics' Cancer Drug

October 24, 2018

TP Therapeutics announced on 10/24/18 a global collaboration agreement to develop and commercialize a next-generation sequencing (NGS) companion diagnostic (CDx) for repotrectinib, TP Therapeutics’ investigational therapy rationally designed to target ROS1, NTRK1-3 and ALK gene fusions in advanced solid tumors.

Under the agreement, Almac will develop the NGS diagnostic based on the ArcherDx’s Anchored Multiplex PCR (AMP™) chemistry, with the intent of submitting it for regulatory approval in the United States. The companion diagnostic will initially allow Almac’s CLIA-accredited laboratory in Durham, N.C. to identify tumors with the targeted gene fusions, enabling physicians to select appropriate patients for treatment with repotrectinib.

“Almac provides us with deep experience in the development and regulatory approval of next-generation sequencing diagnostic assays, which will enable the selection of patients who may not otherwise have access to a targeted therapy like repotrectinib,” said Dr. J Jean Cui, founder, president and chief scientific officer of TP Therapeutics. “We look forward to working with Almac to co-develop repotrectinib with a next generation sequencing based companion diagnostic that detects the presence of ROS1, NTRK1-3 and ALK gene fusions."

Repotrectinib is an investigational, next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) developed for the treatment of patients with advanced solid tumors harboring ROS1, NTRK1-3 or ALK molecular rearrangements. Repotrectinib is a rationally designed, low molecular weight, macrocyclic TKI that is much smaller than current ROS1, TRK family and ALK inhibitors with the objective to systematically overcome the clinically acquired resistance mutations of ROS1, TRK family and ALK kinases, especially the gatekeeper and solvent front mutations.

Co-development of CDx and therapeutic products is critical to the advancement of targeted therapies and precision medicine. Companion diagnostics are tests designed to confirm the presence of a specific biomarker to assist physicians in selecting effective therapies for their patients, based on the individual molecular characteristics of each person. Incorporating a companion diagnostic strategy into a drug development program may help generate more effective treatments with improved safety profiles for patients.

Repotrectinib (TPX-0005) is a potent and orally bioavailable investigational small-molecule inhibitor of ALK, ROS1 and TRK family kinases. The clinical benefits of targeting ALK, ROS1 or TRK fusion kinases have been demonstrated with multiple kinase inhibitors already approved for the treatment of ALK+ non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in addition to crizotinib for ROS1+ NSCLC, and larotrectinib and entrectinib in clinical studies for TRK+ cancers. The successes of these therapies are overshadowed by the development of acquired resistance. The acquired solvent front mutations including ALK G1202R, ROS1 G2032R, TRKA G595R and TRKC G623R render a common clinical resistance to the current ALK, ROS1, and TRK inhibitors. Repotrectinib has demonstrated potency against wildtype and mutated ALK, ROS1 and TRK family kinases, especially the clinically significant solvent front mutations, gatekeeper mutations, and emerging compound mutations after multiple lines of treatment. Repotrectinib may provide a new opportunity to inhibit the abnormal signaling of ALK, ROS1, or TRK family kinases in solid malignancies, and overcome multiple resistance mechanisms seen in refractory patients. Repotrectinib is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2, open-label, multi-center, first-in-human study of the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and anti-tumor activity in patients with advanced solid tumors harboring ALK, ROS1, or NTRK1-3 rearrangements (TRIDENT-1 study, number NCT03093116).

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