New paper describes biology of Amplia's FAK inhibitor

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Amplia Therapeutics (ASX:ATX), which is developing new drugs for the treatment of cancer and fibrosis, has announced the publication of a paper from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

The paper describes the biology underpinning the company's planned Phase 2 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer. It highlights the potential benefits of using a focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitor prior to administration of standard chemotherapy.

The paper, 'Intravital imaging technology guides FAK-mediated priming in pancreatic cancer precision medicine according to Merlin status', has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances.

Professor Paul Timpson, a leading researcher in FAK biology at Garvan and a member of Amplia’s scientific advisory board, led the research program.

The program has shown pre-treatment (priming) with a FAK inhibitor in mice implanted with human pancreatic cancer tissue increased the responsiveness of the cancer to subsequently administered gemcitabine/Abraxane chemotherapy.

FAK-priming also reduced the metastatic spread of tumour cells to secondary sites such as the liver.

“There have been several publications over the last two years that have highlighted the potential of FAK inhibitors in pancreatic cancer, including their ability to work synergistically with chemotherapy agents,” said John Lambert, CEO of Amplia.

“This latest study from our collaborators at the Garvan Institute is particularly exciting as its replicates the approach that we are taking to treat first line pancreatic cancer patients in our recently announced Phase 2 clinical trial. We believe that making an established standard of care, namely chemotherapy with gemcitabine/Abraxane, more effective offers a very promising approach for improving the outcomes for these patients.”