Src homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase (SHP2) is a phosphatase that mediates signaling downstream of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) and is required for full activation of the MAPK pathway. SHP2 inhibition has demonstrated tumor growth inhibition in RTK-activated cancers in preclinical studies. The long-term effectiveness of tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as the EGFR inhibitor (EGFRi), osimertinib, in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is limited by acquired resistance. Multiple clinically identified mechanisms underlie resistance to osimertinib, including mutations in EGFR that preclude drug binding as well as EGFR-independent activation of the MAPK pathway through alternate RTK (RTK-bypass). It has also been noted that frequently a tumor from a single patient harbors more than one resistance mechanism, and the plasticity between multiple resistance mechanisms could restrict the effectiveness of therapies targeting a single node of the oncogenic signaling network. Here, we report the discovery of IACS-13909, a specific and potent allosteric inhibitor of SHP2, that suppresses signaling through the MAPK pathway. IACS-13909 potently impeded proliferation of tumors harboring a broad spectrum of activated RTKs as the oncogenic driver. In EGFR-mutant osimertinib-resistant NSCLC models with EGFR-dependent and EGFR-independent resistance mechanisms, IACS-13909, administered as a single agent or in combination with osimertinib, potently suppressed tumor cell proliferation in vitro and caused tumor regression in vivo. Together, our findings provide preclinical evidence for using a SHP2 inhibitor as a therapeutic strategy in acquired EGFRi-resistant NSCLC. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings highlight the discovery of IACS-13909 as a potent, selective inhibitor of SHP2 with drug-like properties, and targeting SHP2 may serve as a therapeutic strategy to overcome tumor resistance to osimertinib.
©2020 American Association for Cancer Research.