February 5, 2013

Boston Business Journal

Verastem launches ovarian cancer trial

Verastem Inc. (Nasdaq: VSTM) has launched an early stage human trial to test its cancer drug candidate in patients with ovarian cancer.

The potential therapy is designed to kill cancer stem cells, which are thought to be key to the spread of the disease. This is the first of three planned trials using drug candidates with the same mechanism, including a planned study in patients with mesothelioma, which is expected to begin mid-year.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company’s drug candidate, called VS-6063, will be combined with an approved cancer drug, paclitaxel, in Phase 1/1B study, including up to 30 patients with advanced ovarian cancer.

“We believe that cancer stem cells are ultimately responsible for disease progression with ovarian and other cancers,” Verastem Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joanna Horobin said in a statement. “Verastem has advanced the science of targeting cancer stem cells so that we can now clinically evaluate the therapeutic benefit of this approach in the treatment of cancer.”

More information on the trial can be found at clinicaltrials.gov.

Verastem’s shares were trading at $9.79 Tuesday afternoon, up slightly from $9.76 at the previous close.