ALRN-6924 is our first-in-class dual MDM2/MDMX inhibitor currently in clinical development to provide a single medicine to protect multiple healthy cell types throughout the body from chemotherapy while ensuring chemotherapy continues to destroy cancer cells.
Chemotherapy targets cells that are cycling, or undergoing the process of cell division. In cancer cells, the cell cycle is unchecked, which leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation, a hallmark of cancer. Certain types of healthy cells also naturally need to cycle, such as bone marrow cells (which give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets), hair follicle cells, skin cells, and cells lining the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, chemotherapy targets and kills both cycling healthy cells and cycling cancer cells. This, in turn, leads to a spectrum of chemotherapy-induced side effects, from unpleasant to life-threatening.
ALRN-6924, an investigational first-in-class MDM2/MDMX dual inhibitor, is administered to cancer patients shortly before chemotherapy. ALRN-6924 is designed to selectively activate normal p53 protein in patients’ healthy cells, temporarily and reversibly pausing cell cycling to shield healthy cells from chemotherapy. The protection is limited to healthy cells, as ALRN-6924 cannot work in p53-mutated cancer cells given that p53 has lost function in those cells. Therefore, cancer cells continue to cycle uninterrupted, remaining fully susceptible to destruction by chemotherapy.