At Verastem Oncology, we leverage our expertise in translational research and deep understanding of cancer treatment pathways as well as strategic partnerships to identify, develop and deliver effective options to address unmet needs.

We believe the best way for us to help patients living with cancer is by advancing newly emerging mechanisms of the disease and developing novel therapies that target them.

Our focus is targeting cancer cells both directly as well as indirectly by way of the tumor microenvironment in the following disease areas:

Solid Tumors

Thirty percent of all human cancers are driven by mutations of the RAS family of genes and are highly aggressive and recurrent, which creates an environment for cancerous tumors to thrive and become treatment resistant. Current therapeutic options are limited.

We have embarked on a global development program to establish a new backbone of RAS targeted therapy to advance new solutions with the potential to avoid resistance across multiple cancers.

Our lead programs are focused on low-grade serous ovarian cancer and KRAS mutant non-small cell lung cancer, where there is a high unmet medical need as conventional therapies have low response rates.

    • Low-grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC)
    • KRAS mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Disease Area Focus

Mature Woman Discussing Problems With Counselor

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which, depending on the type and stage of the disease, malignant (cancerous) cells are found inside, near, or on the outer layer of the ovaries. In women ages 35-74, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. An estimated one woman in 75 will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime.

Ovarian cancer may not cause any specific symptoms, particularly in its early stages. When it does cause symptoms, these may be nonspecific and vague.

Our development program is focused on a subset of this disease, low-grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC). LGSOC is a slow-growing cancer with a high mortality rate that comprise 5-10% of serous ovarian cancers and 6-8% of all ovarian cancers, and has a significant prevalence of KRAS mutations which occur in approximately one third of patients. The remaining KRAS wild-type patients include those with mutations in NRAS or BRAF. There are an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 patients in the U.S. and 15,000 to 30,000 worldwide diagnosed with LGSOC each year. Approximately half of those diagnosed are in their 20s-40s. LGSOC has a median survival rate of 10 years, with 85% of patients experiencing recurrence and enduring severe pain and complications as the disease progresses.

Chemotherapy is the standard of care for this disease and there are no FDA-approved treatments currently available.

Non small cell cancer patient

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

About 80-85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The most common types of NSCLC are squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, but there are several other types that occur less frequently, and all types can occur in unusual histologic variants.

NSCLC arises from the epithelial cells of the lung within the central bronchi to terminal alveoli. The histological type of NSCLC correlates with site of origin, reflecting the variation in respiratory tract epithelium of the bronchi to alveoli. Squamous cell carcinoma usually originates near a central bronchus. Adenocarcinoma and bronchioloalveolar carcinoma usually originate in peripheral lung tissue.

KRAS mutation occurs in ~25% of NSCLC adenocarcinoma patients. Two of the most common types of KRAS mutations are G12V, which are present in approximately 7% of NSCLC and G12C, which occur in approximately 13% of NSCLC. Studies suggest that these types of KRAS mutations differ in clinical characteristics and response to traditional treatments such as chemotherapy.