|Synta Announces Appointment of Dvorit Samid, Ph.D., as Vice President, Medical Affairs|
“Dr. Samid’s three decades of oncology research and drug development
experience, and her relationships with leading investigators around the
world in lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and other indications
will be a tremendous asset to us at Synta in advancing our lead clinical
Ganetespib is a potent inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) that is structurally unrelated to first-generation, ansamycin-family Hsp90 inhibitors and is being evaluated in over 20 clinical trials ongoing, recently completed, or currently initiating. Over 500 patients have been treated to date with ganetespib. In these trials, ganetespib has demonstrated strong single-agent clinical activity, with a favorable safety profile, in patients with several different types of cancer, including lung cancer and breast cancer, who have failed to respond to, or progressed following treatment with, multiple prior therapies. A Phase 2b/3 trial evaluating the combination of ganetespib and docetaxel in patients with non-small cell lung cancer who have progressed following treatment with first-line therapy, the GALAXY trial, is ongoing with data readouts expected later this year. Ganetespib has also shown strong single-agent clinical activity in patients with ALK+ lung cancer, as well as patients with HER2+ and triple-negative breast cancer. A global clinical trial evaluating ganetespib in approximately 100 patients with ALK+ lung cancer, who have not been previously treated with a direct ALK inhibitor, is now initiating.
“This is a very exciting time to be joining Synta,” said Dr. Samid. “There are very few late-stage drug candidates in the industry that have both demonstrated compelling single-agent anti-cancer activity in multiple tumor types and have such a favorable safety profile. Chaperone inhibition represents an entirely new approach to the treatment of cancer, which offers potential both in molecularly targeted patient populations, such as ALK+ lung cancer, and more broadly, in combination. Ganetespib is positioned to be first to market - the first compound to unlock the true potential of this approach for treating patients with cancer. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Synta and apply the experience and relationships I have developed towards advancing this program to registration and commercialization.”
Dr. Samid has extensive experience in oncology drug development
including clinical development, launch and life-cycle management of
drugs in lung cancer (Erbitux), breast cancer (Abraxane, Xeloda), and
colorectal cancer (Xeloda). Her career spans academia (
Dr. Samid holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from
Ganetespib is the most advanced of the next-generation, synthetic Hsp90 inhibitors with over 450 patients treated to date and 20 trials recently completed, currently initiating, or actively enrolling, including the global Phase 2b/3 GALAXY trialTM in second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Ganetespib has shown anti-tumor activity in heavily pretreated patients with lung cancer, breast cancer, and other tumor types and has been well tolerated with no evidence of severe liver or common ocular toxicities seen with other Hsp90 inhibitors. The most common adverse event seen to date has been grade 1 or 2 diarrhea, which has been transient and manageable with standard supportive care.
Interim results from the 240-patient Phase 2b portion of the GALAXY trial are expected in the first half of 2012, and final data in the second half of the year. Interim results from trials in ALK+ NSCLC and in breast cancer are also expected in the second half of 2012.
Information on clinical trials with ganetespib can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Hsp90 is a molecular chaperone required for the proper folding and activation of many cancer-promoting proteins, and is recognized as a key facilitator of cancer cell growth and survival. Many of the “client proteins” of Hsp90 – such as ALK, AKT, BCR-ABL, BRAF, KIT, MET, EGFR, FLT3, HER2, PDGFRA, VEGFR are the targets of clinically validated cancer drugs. In preclinical studies, inhibiting Hsp90 causes the degradation of multiple client proteins and leads to cancer cell death.
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Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.