Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. has been announced as the latest partner of Cancer Research UK’s Stratified Medicine Programme which is being carried out in collaboration with the University of Birmingham Cancer Research Clinical Trials Unit.
The partnership will make Mirati’s experimental drug, sitravatinib, available for inclusion in the programme through the National Lung Matrix Trial – bringing new investigational treatment options to eligible patients with advanced lung cancer.
Sitravatinib targets genetic vulnerabilities* that are collectively found in around 5.5% of non-small cell lung cancer patients (NSCLC) and could offer a new, more effective, treatment option for some lung cancer patients.
Dr Ian Walker, director of clinical, population and early detection research at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re delighted that Mirati is making their investigational drug for lung cancer available to the Stratified Medicine Programme. By working together, we’re adapting and shifting the emphasis of clinical trials from focusing on the same therapy for all patients, to designing drugs around specific patients, paving the way to an era of precision medicine.
“This partnership exemplifies the flexible approach of Cancer Research UK’s Stratified Medicine Programme and the National Lung Matrix Trial, to improve our understanding and accelerate progress in treating lung cancer.”
The adaptive and evolving approach of Cancer Research UK’s Stratified Medicine Programme** and its associated precision medicine phase II trial, the National Lung Matrix Trial, allows new research questions to be addressed in a timely manner with new arms introduced and others closed as required. The trial has been renewed for another three years and recently marked the recruitment of its 250th patient.
Under the terms of the deal, Mirati will provide sitravatinib, to be tested in three arms of the trial, in addition to financial support for the Stratified Medicine Programme.
Charles M. Baum, M.D., Ph.D., Mirati’s president and chief executive officer, said: “The design and scope of the Stratified Medicine Programme provides an exceptional opportunity for clinical research. We are excited to partner with Cancer Research UK and honoured to have sitravatinib selected to be a part of this innovative trial.”
*Genetic alterations involving RET gene rearrangements, CHR4q12 amplifications, and CBL mutations.
**The Stratified Medicine Programme is a collaboration between Cancer Research UK and the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres, the NHS, University of Birmingham Cancer Research Clinical Trials Unit, Illumina, Astra Zeneca and Pfizer. It was the first national study of its kind in the UK to pre-screen patients for their molecular eligibility for a cancer clinical trial. Excess diagnostic biopsy tissue from patients with advanced lung cancer is screened for specific markers to assess the likelihood of a targeted treatment being effective for each patient.