p53 is a critical tumor suppressor and is the most frequently inactivated gene in human cancer. Inhibition of the interaction of p53 with its negative regulator MDM2 represents a promising clinical strategy to treat p53 wild-type tumors. AMG 232 is a potential best-in-class inhibitor of the MDM2-p53 interaction and is currently in clinical trials. We characterized the activity of AMG 232 and its effect on p53 signaling in several preclinical tumor models. AMG 232 binds the MDM2 protein with picomolar affinity and robustly induces p53 activity, leading to cell-cycle arrest and inhibition of tumor cell proliferation. AMG 232 treatment inhibited the in vivo growth of several tumor xenografts and led to complete and durable regression of MDM2-amplified SJSA-1 tumors via growth arrest and induction of apoptosis. Therapeutic combination studies of AMG 232 with chemotherapies that induce DNA damage and p53 activity resulted in significantly superior antitumor efficacy and regression, and markedly increased activation of p53 signaling in tumors. These preclinical data support the further evaluation of AMG 232 in clinical trials as both a monotherapy and in combination with standard-of-care cytotoxics.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.