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Mol Cancer Ther. 2012 Mar;11(3):690-9. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0450. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Ponatinib (AP24534), a multitargeted pan-FGFR inhibitor with activity in multiple FGFR-amplified or mutated cancer models.

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ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 26 Landsdowne Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Members of the fibroblast growth factor receptor family of kinases (FGFR1-4) are dysregulated in multiple cancers. Ponatinib (AP24534) is an oral multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor being explored in a pivotal phase II trial in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia due to its potent activity against BCR-ABL. Ponatinib has also been shown to inhibit the in vitro kinase activity of all four FGFRs, prompting us to examine its potential as an FGFR inhibitor. In Ba/F3 cells engineered to express activated FGFR1-4, ponatinib potently inhibited FGFR-mediated signaling and viability with IC(50) values <40 nmol/L, with substantial selectivity over parental Ba/F3 cells. In a panel of 14 cell lines representing multiple tumor types (endometrial, bladder, gastric, breast, lung, and colon) and containing FGFRs dysregulated by a variety of mechanisms, ponatinib inhibited FGFR-mediated signaling with IC(50) values <40 nmol/L and inhibited cell growth with GI(50) (concentration needed to reduce the growth of treated cells to half that of untreated cells) values of 7 to 181 nmol/L. Daily oral dosing of ponatinib (10-30 mg/kg) to mice reduced tumor growth and inhibited signaling in all three tumor models examined. Importantly, the potency of ponatinib in these models is similar to that previously observed in BCR-ABL-driven models and plasma levels of ponatinib that exceed the IC(50) values for FGFR1-4 inhibition can be sustained in patients. These results show that ponatinib is a potent pan-FGFR inhibitor and provide strong rationale for its evaluation in patients with FGFR-driven cancers.

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