Verastem, Inc., (NASDAQ: VSTM) a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, announced that researchers at the Broad Institute have published a study utilizing the cancer stem cell screening assay exclusively licensed to Verastem to identify novel chemicals that preferentially kill cancer stem cells. Published in the Journal of Biomolecular Screening, researchers at the Broad Institute of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology utilized the screen originally developed in the laboratories of Verastem scientific cofounders Robert Weinberg, Ph.D. and Eric Lander, Ph.D. Due to the difficulty in propagating cancer stem cells outside of the tumor environment, the researchers created unique cancer stem cell-like cells and used phenotypic high-throughput screening to evaluate 300,718 compounds for their ability to preferentially kill cancer stem cells. The screen identified 2,244 hits and further characterized selective compounds. “This study demonstrates the power of the cancer stem cell screening technology that was developed by our founders and underpins our research at Verastem,” said Jonathan Pachter, Ph.D., Verastem Vice President and Head of Research. “To date, innovation in cancer therapy has been limited by a myopic focus only on targeting bulk tumor cells with little regard for resistant cancer stem cell populations. Verastem is harnessing the power of cancer stem cell-directed screens to identify novel drugs that have the ability to kill the cellular components of the tumor that resist current therapies and drive tumor recurrence.” The top three chemical series described in the current study are exclusively licensed to Verastem and are part of a portfolio of drugs being advanced for the treatment of a broad range of cancer indications. Verastem has built a pipeline of novel chemical series that have demonstrated the unique ability to kill cancer stem cells and plans to enter into multiple clinical studies, including a potential registration study in mesothelioma, over the next 12 months.
The article is titled “Phenotypic High-Throughput Screening Elucidates Target Pathway in Breast Cancer Stem-Like Cells.” View the complete text of the study at http://bit.ly/WfDzSBAbout Verastem, Inc. Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTM) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are an underlying cause of tumor recurrence and metastasis. Verastem is developing small molecule inhibitors of signaling pathways that are critical to cancer stem cell survival and proliferation: FAK, PI3K/mTOR and Wnt. For more information, please visit www.verastem.com. Forward-looking statements: This press release includes forward-looking statements about the Company’s strategy, future plans and prospects, including statements regarding the development of the Company’s compounds, the timeline for clinical development and regulatory approval of the Company’s compounds and the structure of the Company’s planned clinical trials. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk and uncertainties, including the risks that the preclinical testing of the Company’s compounds may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials, that the Company will be unable to successfully complete the clinical development of its compounds, that the development of the Company’s compounds will take longer or cost more than planned, and that the Company’s compounds will not receive regulatory approval or become commercially successful products. Other risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and in any subsequent SEC filings. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company’s views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.