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Erasca, MD Anderson Cancer Center Partner to Study ERK, SHP2 Inhibitors

NEW YORK – Erasca and the MD Anderson Cancer Center on Tuesday said they will work together to develop Erasca's ERK1/2 inhibitor ERAS-007 and SHP2 inhibitor ERAS-601.

The partners will initially focus on exploring ERAS-007 and ERAS-601 in combination with standard-of-care and investigational agents, including with drugs in Erasca's pipeline. During their five-year collaboration, Erasca and MD Anderson will conduct preclinical and clinical studies of these drugs in non-small cell lung cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, and other indications.

"Durability and treatment resistance continue to present challenges in the treatment of lung cancers and GI malignancies, particularly stemming from reactivation of the RAS/MAPK pathway," Scott Kopetz, professor of gastrointestinal medical oncology at MD Anderson, said in a statement. "Erasca's pipeline of agents that target key nodes, including previously undruggable genetic drivers, has the potential to improve durability and minimize resistance." Kopetz is already an investigator for the HERKULES-3 master protocol trial of ERAS-007.

Erasca is currently studying ERAS-007 and ERAS-601 in several studies as monotherapies and in combination with other agents in RAS/MAPK-altered cancers. The firm is exploring ERAS-007 in RAS/MAPK-mutant solid tumors, NSCLC, and colorectal cancer; and studying ERAS-601 in a Phase I trial in metastatic solid tumors with specific cohorts in head and neck cancer and colorectal cancer.

MD Anderson and Erasca will also investigate other pipeline candidates, such as the KRAS G12D inhibitor ERAS-4. San Diego-based Erasca has a pipeline of drugs that target the RAS/MAPK pathway including agents that home in on KRAS, ERK, SHP2, EGFR, and BRAF mutations.