Targeting oncogenic kinase drivers with small-molecule inhibitors can have marked therapeutic benefit, especially when administered to an appropriate genomically defined patient population. Cancer genomics and mechanistic studies have revealed that heterogeneous mutations within a single kinase can result in various mechanisms of kinase activation. Therapeutic benefit to patients can best be optimized through an in-depth understanding of the disease-driving mutations combined with the ability to match these insights to tailored highly selective drugs. This rationale is presented for BLU-285, a clinical stage inhibitor of oncogenic KIT and PDGFRA alterations, including activation loop mutants that are ineffectively treated by current therapies. BLU-285, designed to preferentially interact with the active conformation of KIT and PDGFRA, potently inhibits activation loop mutants KIT D816V and PDGFRA D842V with subnanomolar potency and also inhibits other well-characterized disease-driving KIT mutants both in vitro and in vivo in preclinical models. Early clinical evaluation of BLU-285 in a phase 1 study has demonstrated marked activity in patients with diseases associated with KIT (aggressive systemic mastocytosis and gastrointestinal stromal tumor) and PDGFRA (gastrointestinal stromal tumor) activation loop mutations.
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