Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) is upregulated in many cancers where it supports cell survival and drives cell growth and migration. In addition, it is directly involved in several important biological processes in the tumour microenvironment (i.e. the region surrounding the tumour) including the formation of new fibrotic tissue and generation of an immunosuppressed environment. When cancers become established in the body, they often use these processes to improve their own survival.
Amplia’s Cancer Program is directed at using its FAK inhibitors to block FAK activity in the cancer cells and the surrounding tissue and therefore block survival/proliferation signals, as well as inhibit fibrosis and cell migration in order to make them more vulnerable and responsive to currently used treatment regimens.
Amplia is undertaking a clinical trial of narmafotinib (AMP945) in combination with the current standard of care (gemcitabine/Abraxane®) in patients with pancreatic cancer.