Methylgene intends to trade on Nasdaq under name Mirati
Here is target and preclinical rationale from website
MGCD265 is a rationally designed, orally administered small molecule kinase inhibitor that targets the receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) Met, VEGFR 1,2,3 and Axl, as well as Tie2 and Ron. These kinases play key roles in tumor development, survival and metastasis as well as the inappropriate formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) that nourish the tumors.
The Met receptor is a protein that is found on the cell’s surface. When not properly regulated (i.e. over active) it plays a key role in the growth, survival and metastasis of various types of cancers such as non-small cell lung, gastric, prostate, colorectal, bladder, breast and ovarian cancers.
The Met signaling pathway is very important in cancer, as Met has been shown to be a vital escape pathway for tumor cells. When tumor cells are attacked by some cancer therapies, Met helps the tumor cells to escape death. MGCD265′s inhibition of both the Met and VEGFR targets appears to effectively block the Met-driven escape mechanism used by tumor cells when treated with other targeted cancer therapies.
Axl is a receptor tyrosine kinase that has recently become the subject of increased scientific and clnical interest. Studies have shown that Axl expression is correlated with clinical stage and lymph node status in non-small cell lung cancer, and involved in the mechanism of resistance to EGFR inhibitors. Axl may be a significant driver in renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and other tumors.
265 seems to have bioavailability issues and never got past phase 1-1b despite being in clinical trials since 2008. Will see if anything comes up at this year's ASCO but make take on it is that it is a dude.
This is probably why a takeover would be win-win for EXEL and the acquirer. EXEL doesn't have the money to run all the relevant trials for Cabo at present so there are plenty of opportunities in other indications from smaller competitors. Whoever takes them over could monetize potential indications much sooner, but I imagine they're waiting for some sign that Cabo can pass muster in a late stage trial for at least one large indication before moving forward.
2-3 years back I contacted methylgene inquiring about their company as a potential investment...I'll.be damned if the IR girl wasn't trying to talk me out of it...she said their science has been difficult to prove and they were currently for sale because they had little money coming in...it was soon after that they received 30mill. to keep operations running...she did say that exel was considered a competitor...have not followed them much since