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Erasca, Novartis Ink Deal to Study Mekinist, Naporafenib Combo in RAS/MAPK-Driven Cancers

NEW YORK – Within two clinical trial collaboration and supply agreements announced Wednesday, Erasca said it will evaluate its pan-RAF inhibitor naporafenib with Novartis' MEK inhibitor Mekinist (trametinib) in RAS/MAPK-driven cancers.

In the deal, Novartis will supply Mekinist free of cost for the Phase Ib SEACRAFT-1 and the Phase III SEACRAFT-2 trials, which Erasca is sponsoring. In SEACRAFT-1, Erasca is studying naporafenib plus Mekinist in patients with RAS Q61X-mutated solid tumors, and in the SEACRAFT-2 trial, Erasca is studying naporafenib plus Mekinist in advanced, previously treated NRAS-mutant melanoma.

San Diego-headquartered Erasca expects to begin SEACRAFT-2 during the first half of 2024 and to report initial data from SEACRAFT-1 between Q2 and Q4 this year. Although Erasca is focusing initially on advancing naporafenib-Mekinist and securing regulatory approval in the NRAS-mutant melanoma and RAS Q6IX-mutated solid tumor indications, the firm said it is also exploring other combination strategies for naporafenib, potentially with agents in Erasca's own pipeline.