SignalChem Lifesciences, a clinical-stage company developing novel targeted therapies for oncology, is collaborating with Merck (MSD) through a subsidiary, to evaluate the combination of SLC-391, a selective AXL inhibitor developed by SignalChem, with KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
AXL, a member of the TAM family protein tyrosine kinases (Tyro3, AXL and Mer), plays a key role in cell survival, angiogenesis, metastasis and therapeutic resistance. SLC-391 is a clinical stage small molecule AXL inhibitor with high potency, selectivity and desirable pharmaceutical properties. SLC-391 disrupts cell division, inhibiting tumour growth and causing cancer cells to die.
Based on emerging evidence, a clinical investigation has been initiated to evaluate SLC-391 in combination with KEYTRUDA in the treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC. SignalChem will conduct the study in multiple cancer centres in the US and Canada to evaluate the clinical outcome of combining SLC-391 and KEYTRUDA.
The two companies plan to conduct the SKYLITE trial, a multi-centre, single arm, open-label, Phase 2 study of SLC-391 in combination with KEYTRUDA in subjects with NSCLC.