This week in therapeutics

Indication

Target/marker/pathway

Summary

Licensing status

Publication and
contact information

Cancer

Leukemia

B cell lymphoma 2
(BCL-2; BCL2)

Mouse and cell culture studies suggest BCL-2 inhibitors could be useful for selectively killing leukemia stem cells. In mice engrafted with human chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) stem cells, the pan-BCL-2 inhibitor sabutoclax decreased stem cell burden and increased stem cell sensitivity to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor Sprycel dasatinib compared with vehicle. In CML stem cell-enriched primary acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) samples, compared with non-stem cell-enriched AML samples, two related BCL-2 inhibitors, ABT-263 and ABT-737, caused selective increases in cell death. Next steps could include a clinical trial of BCL-2 inhibitors in combination with other antileukemia therapies.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. markets Sprycel to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and CML.
Abbott Laboratories and Roche's Genentech Inc. unit have ABT-263 in Phase I/II testing or earlier to treat various cancers. ABT-737 is a research reagent from Abbott.
Oncothyreon Inc.'s sabutoclax is in preclinical development to treat cancer.
At least seven other companies have BCL-2 inhibitors in Phase II testing to treat various cancers including leukemia and lymphoma.

SciBX 6(5); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.113
Published online Feb. 7, 2013

Patent and licensing status unavailable

Goff, D.J. et al. Cell Stem Cell; published online Jan. 17, 2013;
doi:10.1016/j.stem.2012.12.011
Contact: Catriona H.M. Jamieson, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
e-mail:
cjamieson@ucsd.edu

Lagadinou, E.D. et al. Cell Stem Cell; published online Jan. 17, 2013;
doi:10.1016/j.stem.2012.12.013
Contact: Craig T. Jordan, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.
e-mail:
craig_jordan@urmc.rochester.edu