Despite the recent success of immuno-oncology drugs, their use in fibrotic cancers (pancreatic, ovarian cancer) has been met with limited success. Recent research shows that Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) is significantly upregulated in these highly fibrotic tumours and therefore drugs targeting FAK have the potential to sensitize the tumour micro-environment to both I-O and chemotherapies. Inhibiting FAK can also directly boost the number of immune cells responsible for attacking tumours, further “amplifying” the effect of immuno-oncology treatment.
Amplia Therapeutics Limited is a pharmaceutical company advancing a pipeline of FAK inhibitors for cancer and fibrosis. The lead molecule, AMP945, is a “pure play” inhibitor with superior specificity. The second molecule, AMP886, is a multi-action molecule that hits two other important cancer pathways – VEGFR3 and FLT3.