Small molecule R1498 as a well-tolerated and orally active kinase inhibitor for hepatocellular carcinoma and gastric cancer treatment via targeting angiogenesis and mitosis pathways

Chao Zhang, Xihan Wu, Meifang Zhang, Liangcheng Zhu, Rong Zhao, Danqing Xu, Zhaohu Lin, Chungen Liang, Taiping Chen, Li Chen, Yi Ren, Joe Zhang, Ning Qin, Xiongwen Zhang
PloS One 2013, 8 (6): e65264
Protein kinases play important roles in tumor development and progression. Lots of kinase inhibitors have entered into market and show promising clinical benefits. Here we report the discovery of a novel small molecule, well-tolerated, orally active kinase inhibitor, R1498, majorly targeting both angiogenic and mitotic pathways for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and gastric cancer (GC). A series of biochemical and cell-based assays indicated that the target kinase cluster of R1498 included Aurora kinases and VEGFR2 et al. R1498 showed moderate in vitro growth inhibition on a panel of tumor cells with IC50 of micromole range. The in vivo anti-tumor efficacy of R1498 was evaluated on a panel of GC and HCC xenografts in a parallel comparison with another multikinase inhibitor sorafenib. R1498 demonstrated superior efficacy and toxicity profile over sorafenib in all test models with >80% tumor growth inhibition and tumor regression in some xenogratfts. The therapeutic potential of R1498 was also highlighted by its efficacy on three human GC primary tumor derived xenograft models with 10-30% tumor regression rate. R1498 was shown to actively inhibit the Aurora A activity in vivo, and decrease the vascularization in tumors. Furthermore, R1498 presented good in vivo exposure and therapeutic window in the pharmacokinetic and dose range finding studies. Theses evidences indicate that R1498 is a potent, well-tolerated, orally active multitarget kinase inhibitor with a unique antiangiogenic and antiproliferative profile, and provide strong confidence for further development for HCC and GC therapy.

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