Discovery of a highly potent pan-RAF inhibitor IHMT-RAF-128 for cancer treatment

Eur J Pharmacol. 2023 Aug 5:952:175752. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2023.175752. Epub 2023 May 8.


Although rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (RAS) mutations occur in about 30% of solid tumors, targeting RAS mutations other than KRAS-G12C is still challenging. As an alternative approach, developing inhibitors targeting RAF, the downstream effector of RAS signaling, is currently one of the main strategies for cancer therapy. Selective v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF)-V600E inhibitors Vemurafenib, Encorafenib, and Dabrafenib have been approved by FDA and received remarkable clinical responses, but these drugs are ineffective against RAS mutant tumors due to limited inhibition on dimerized RAF. In this study, we developed a highly potent pan-RAF inhibitor, IHMT-RAF-128, which exhibited similarly high efficacies in inhibiting both partners of the RAF dimer, and showed potent anti-tumor efficacy against a variety of cancer cells harboring either RAF or RAS mutations, especially Adagrasib and Sotorasib (AMG510) resistant-KRAS-G12C secondary mutations, such as KRAS-G12C-Y96C and KRAS-G12C-H95Q. In addition, IHMT-RAF-128 showed excellent pharmacokinetic profile (PK), and the bioavailability in mice and rats were 63.9%, and 144.1%, respectively. Furthermore, IHMT-RAF-128 exhibited potent anti-tumor efficacy on xenograft mouse tumor models in a dose-dependent manner without any obvious toxicities. Together, these results support further investigation of IHMT-RAF-128 as a potential clinical drug candidate for the treatment of cancer patients with RAF or RAS mutations.

Keywords: BRAF; Cancer therapy; Pan-RAF; RAS mutations; Vemurafenib.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)* / genetics
  • Vemurafenib / therapeutic use


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • Vemurafenib