Background - Fibrotic Cancers
Fibrotic cancers typically have a very different immunologic profile to other types of solid tumour cancers. Fibrotic cancers harness the tumour micro-environment as part of their defence against the immune system. Amplia is particularly focused on pancreatic and ovarian cancers.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most unsuccessfully treated cancers and has the poorest survival outcome of the 21 most common cancers. Pancreatic cancer is predicted to overtake breast cancer as the 4th most common cancer killer by 2030. Pancreatic cancer is the epitome of a fibrotic cancer that can potentially be treated with a FAK inhibitor in combination with other therapeutic strategies, including checkpoint inhibitors.
FAK is upregulated in the tumour stroma of a major subtype of ovarian cancer which represents 40-50% of high grade ovarian tumours. This subtype is associated with particularly poor prognosis because the fibrotic nature of the tumours is believed to act as a barrier to drug and possibly anti-cancer immune cells access. The use of FAK inhibitors to remodel the tumour micro-environment offers a new approach to treating ovarian cancer, particularly in combination with existing and well understood chemotherapy treatments.