New partner announced as part of lung cancer research

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.”

Ends

For media enquiries contact:

  1. Emma McKinney, Communications Manager (Health Sciences), University of Birmingham, or tel: +44 (0) 121 414 6681, or contact the press office out of hours on +44 (0) 7789 921 165.
  2. Kathryn Ingham in the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 5475 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.

Notes to editor:

*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.

Its associated precision medicine phase II trial, the National Lung Matrix Trial, consists of over 20 different biomarker-drug combination cohorts and uses a design that allows the trial to adapt and evolve as necessary. This trial is sponsored by the University of Birmingham Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit.

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives. Cancer Research UK receives no funding from the UK government for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on vital donations from the public. Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years. Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses. Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022. 
  • Sitravatinib is a spectrum-selective kinase inhibitor that potently inhibits receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), including TAM family receptors (TYRO3, Axl, Mer), split family receptors (VEGFR2, KIT) and RET. As an immuno-oncology agent, sitravatinib is being evaluated in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. A phase 2 clinical trial is currently evaluating the combination of sitravatinib and a check point inhibitor in patients with non-small cell lung cancer who have experienced documented disease progression following prior treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor. Sitravatinib is also being evaluated as a single agent in a Phase 1b expansion clinical trial in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and other tumor types who have specific genetic alterations in CBL, CHR4Q12 and RET.
  • Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage oncology company developing product candidates to address the genetic, epigenetic and immunological promoters of cancer. Our precision oncology clinical programs utilize next-generation genomic testing to identify and select cancer patients who we believe would be most likely to benefit from targeted drug treatment. In immuno-oncology, we are advancing clinical programs where our product candidates have the potential to improve the immune environment of tumor cells and may enhance and expand the efficacy of existing cancer immunotherapy medicines when given in combination. Our pre-clinical programs include potentially first-in-class and best-in-class product candidates specifically designed to address mutations and tumors where few treatment options exist. We approach each of our discovery and development programs with a singular focus: to translate our deep understanding of the molecular drivers of cancer into better therapies and better outcomes for patients. For more information.