Erasca, Novartis team up on cancer drug trials

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Erasca, Novartis team up on cancer drug trials

SAN DIEGO - Erasca, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERAS), a precision oncology company, has entered into clinical trial collaboration and supply agreements with pharmaceutical giant Novartis (SIX: NOVN ) (NYSE: NVS) to advance the development of a new cancer treatment, the companies announced Tuesday.

Under the agreements, Novartis will provide Erasca with trametinib (MEKINIST®), a MEK inhibitor, at no cost to support the clinical trials of naporafenib, a pan-RAF inhibitor, for two types of cancer. The collaboration will focus on the SEACRAFT-1 Phase 1b trial for RAS Q61X solid tumors and the pivotal Phase 3 SEACRAFT-2 trial for NRAS-mutant (NRASm) unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

The SEACRAFT-1 trial is expected to begin reporting initial data between the second and fourth quarters of 2024, while the SEACRAFT-2 trial is set to initiate in the first half of 2024. These trials aim to address the high unmet medical needs of patients with these specific cancer mutations, as there are currently no approved targeted therapies for these conditions.

Naporafenib has been administered to over 500 patients and has shown promise in early trials, particularly when combined with trametinib. The combination has demonstrated compelling anti-tumor activity and a manageable safety profile.

Approximately 150,000 patients are diagnosed annually with RAS Q61X solid tumors in the United States and Europe, including those with melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and other types. NRASm melanoma, a particularly aggressive form, accounts for about 20-30% of melanoma cases, translating to roughly 50,000 new cases each year in the same regions.

Erasca's CEO, Dr. Jonathan E. Lim, expressed optimism about the potential of naporafenib in combination with trametinib to improve outcomes for patients with these advanced solid tumor indications. Naporafenib has already received FDA Fast Track Designation for NRASm melanoma after anti-PD(L)-1 regimen failure.

The success of these trials could lead to new treatment options for patients with limited alternatives. This partnership reflects Erasca's mission to develop therapies targeting the RAS/MAPK pathway in cancer treatment. The information for this article is based on a press release statement.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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