1:06 PM
 | 
Nov 16, 2017
 |  BC Innovations  |  Emerging Company Profile

YAP off, YAP on

How Vivace turns the YAP pathway off or on to treat cancer

Vivace Therapeutics Inc. exploits opposite angles of the Hippo-YAP pathway, with first-in-class inhibitors that turn it off in cancers with activating mutations and activators that turn it on to enhance tumor immunogenicity in other cancers. The newco emerged from stealth mode this summer after closing a $25 million Series B led by China-based Cenova Capital.

The Hippo-YAP pathway regulates cell growth and survival. Under normal conditions, Hippo signaling phosphorylates YAP1 and silences it. But under cellular stress, G-protein signaling dephosphorylates YAP1, triggering its translocation to the nucleus where it induces expression of survival genes.

Several cancers co-opt the pathway for survival and proliferation. About 85% of uveal melanomas have activating mutations in the G-proteins GαQ and GNA11, 70% of mesotheliomas have activated YAP1, and YAP1 gene amplifications occur in about 25% of all lung, cervical...

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