Looks like Novartis is going after Mutant melanoma in combination with MEK162/LEE011(NRAS mutant melanoma) and LGX818/LEE011(Braf Mutant melanoma).
There's an article explaining these combinations that the big boys are all going after. GSK has a head start, but Novartis has now jumped into the mix with an astex drug. If you google Drug combination NRAS mutant Melanoma discovered, it explains why this is important area.
Here is a piece from this article:
New BRAF inhibitor drugs are effective against BRAF-mutant melanoma, but no comparable therapies are currently available against NRAS-mutant melanoma. For the first time, this study provides new hope for patients with NRAS-mutant melanoma that an effective targeted treatment might be developed in the coming years.
By analyzing a sophisticated, genetically engineered mouse model of NRAS-mutant melanoma with a novel systems biology approach, scientists discovered that combining two different classes of drugs shrinks these tumors
It nice to see how fast Novartis jumped on this with LEE011.
These are both Ph2 trials. I like that Novartis is going after both kinds of mutant melanoma with LEE011. Also to remind you they just started a neuroblastoma trial also with LEE011. 4 trials with 3 of them just ramped up.
When melanoma is diagnosed early, it is generally a curable disease. However, when it spreads to other parts of the body, it is the deadliest and most aggressive form of skin cancer. A person with metastatic melanoma typically has on average a short life expectancy that is measured in months. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be more than 76,000 new cases of melanoma and over 9,000 melanoma deaths in the United States in 2012. BRAF and NRAS mutations occur in 50 to 60 percent and 15 to 20 percent of patients with melanoma, respectively.