2022 ASCO: A First-in-Human, Phase 1 Study of ASTX029, a Dual-Mechanism Inhibitor of ERK1/2, in Relapsed/Refractory Solid Tumors

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A First-in-Human, Phase 1 Study of ASTX029, a Dual-Mechanism Inhibitor of ERK1/2, in Relapsed/Refractory Solid Tumors


Background: Aberrant activation of the RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK pathway is common in human cancers. This is an open-label Phase 1 study of ASTX029, a dual-mechanism extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) inhibitor, in subjects with relapsed/refractory solid tumors (NCT03520075).

Methods: The primary objective is to identify a recommended Phase 2 dose. Subjects with relapsed/refractory solid tumors were eligible for Phase 1A with any molecular feature and for Phase 1B if the tumor demonstrated RAS or BRAF mutations. ASTX029 was administered orally daily on a continuous basis in 21-day cycles. Phase 1A was a modified 3+3 dose-escalation design based on dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) events. Phase 1B subjects were treated at the recommended dose for expansion (RDE) based on emerging safety, pharmacokinetic (PK), and pharmacodynamic (PD) data. Disease response was evaluated by RECIST v1.1.

Results: 76 subjects were treated with at least one dose of ASTX029 in Phase 1A (n = 56) and Phase 1B (n = 20). In Phase 1A, ASTX029 was evaluated from 10 mg to 280 mg daily. Two subjects experienced grade 2 central serous retinopathy (CSR) within a few days of dosing at the 280 mg daily dose level (one event was declared a DLT). Both subjects recovered to baseline within days of dose interruption. CSR is an expected AE based on the class of drugs. At the selected RDE dose level of 200 mg daily, the mean PK exposure was 109% of target exposure (13,022 ng*hr/ml), defined as the level expected to have biological activity based on mouse models. As of the data cut-off of February 7, 2022, the most frequent grade ≥2 AEs experienced by subjects (≥5%) assessed as related to ASTX029 included ocular AEs (n = 6: all Grade 2); nausea (n = 7: all Grade 2); diarrhea (n = 6: 5 Grade 2, 1 Grade 3); fatigue (n = 4: all Grade 2); rash (n = 4, 3 Grade 2, 1 Grade 3). There were 52 serious AEs, all unrelated to ASTX029 except for one subject with Grade 3 malaise. Four subjects had a partial response, including KRAS-G12A BRAF-D549N non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC; Phase 1A: 120 mg treated 20.0 months); KRAS-G12D pancreatic cancer (Phase 1A: 200 mg treated 2.1 months); KRAS-G13D NSCLC (Phase 1B; treated 10.6 months); KRAS-G12S NSCLC (Phase 1B; treated 10.4 months and ongoing). In all, two partial responses were observed out of 3 NSCLC subjects enrolled in Phase 1B. Phospho-ERK and phospho-RSK were evaluated for PD effect on fresh tumor biopsies obtained at baseline and cycle 2. A PD effect and decreased cell proliferation (Ki-67) were observed in 6 of 9 and 3 of 8 evaluable Phase 1B samples, respectively. The most common reason for ASTX029 discontinuation was disease progression.

Conclusions: This Phase 1 study of the ERK1/2 inhibitor ASTX029 has identified a dose level of 200 mg daily continuously for investigation in the Phase 2 study. PK and PD data suggest target exposures are achieved with preliminary clinical activity, especially in KRAS-mutated NSCLC. Clinical trial information: NCT03520075.