Zentalis Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has announced that it will present positive clinical data from its Phase 1b trial investigating the use of azenosertib in combination with chemotherapy for ovarian cancer patients at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago in June 2023. The study showed clear evidence of azenosertib’s ability to restore chemotherapy sensitivity in Cyclin E1-positive ovarian cancers. The study’s findings could potentially identify patients who may benefit from treatment using azenosertib, a potentially first-in-class Wee1 inhibitor that is currently in clinical trials across a range of cancers.

The poster session, entitled “Correlation of Cyclin E1 expression and clinical outcomes in a Phase 1b dose-escalation study of Azenosertib (ZN-c3), a Wee1 inhibitor, in combination with chemotherapy in patients with platinum-resistant or refractory (R/R) epithelial ovarian, peritoneal, or fallopian tube cancer,” will be presented on June 5, 2023, and offers an exciting opportunity for Zentalis to share new clinical data. As well as offering hope to ovarian cancer patients, the study shows clear potential for overcoming the chemotherapy resistance that these cancers often display.

The study’s encouraging findings build upon recently presented preclinical data at AACR supporting the use of CCNE1 amplification and/or Cyclin E1 expression as a potential marker for the enrichment of patient populations for treatment with azenosertib. Zentalis has also partnered with Foundation Medicine and Roche Diagnostics to further develop azenosertib, with clinical trials planned for the future.

According to Kimberly Blackwell, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Zentalis, “There continues to be a need for predictive markers for targeted therapeutics in difficult-to-treat malignancies such as platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. These partnerships with Foundation Medicine and Roche Diagnostics are exciting opportunities for us to identify patients likely to benefit from treatment with azenosertib.”

Azenosertib is a highly potent and selective Wee1 inhibitor, currently being evaluated in the clinic for advanced solid tumors and hematological malignancies. The drug is being investigated as a monotherapy and in combination with traditional chemotherapy and DNA-damaging agents, as well as in combination with molecularly targeted agents.

The Phase 1b clinical trial is currently evaluating azenosertib in combination with paclitaxel, carboplatin, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD), and gemcitabine in four cohorts of patients with advanced platinum-resistant ovarian, peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer. The company plans to reveal results from this study in the first half of 2023, ahead of its original guidance. Azenosertib is also currently being evaluated in combination with gemcitabine in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for adult and pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory osteosarcoma.

Zentalis is also studying azenosertib in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in combination with GlaxoSmithKline’s PARP inhibitor, niraparib (ZEJULA®), for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients who have failed PARP inhibitor maintenance treatment. The company is also collaborating with Pfizer to evaluate azenosertib in combination with encorafenib and cetuximab, an FDA-approved standard of care known as the BEACON regimen, in patients with BRAF V600E mutant metastatic colorectal cancer.

The conference in Chicago in June 2023 will give Zentalis an opportunity to showcase its important work in advancing cancer therapies, as well as outlining its plans for the future. The company’s extensive pipeline of drugs and medical technology looks set to make a significant impact on patients with a range of cancers, continuing the groundbreaking research that has established Zentalis as an essential player in the medical sector.

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By Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a renowned investigative journalist with over two decades of experience. She has won several awards for her in-depth reporting on social justice issues, government corruption, and environmental concerns. Sarah's fearless approach to journalism has earned her a reputation as one of the most respected journalists in the industry.

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