Fibroblast growth factor receptors, or FGFRs, are tyrosine kinase receptors on the surface of cells that link growth factor signaling with the downstream PI3K/AKT and MAPK pathways to regulate cellular proliferation and survival. The FGFR family has four members, encoded by the FGFR1-4 genes.
Overactivity in the FGFR pathway can be a critical contributor to many forms of cancers, most notably cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile ducts of the liver) and urothelial carcinoma (cancer of the lining of the bladder). FGFR2 genomic alterations (e.g., fusions, mutations, amplifications) are present in approximately 15% of cholangiocarcinomas, and FGFR3 genomic alterations are present in approximately 25% of advanced urothelial carcinomas, 50% of non-muscle invasive urothelial carcinomas, and up to 70% of upper tract urothelial carcinomas.
In achondroplasia, activating mutations in FGFR3 suppress proliferation and maturation of growth plate chondrocytes, leading to shortened bones. Complications can be severe, with an increased risk of death during infancy and the potential for altered bone formation that can lead to nerve compression. Achondroplasia affects one out of every 20,000 live births.
ABOUT INFIGRATINIB (BGJ398)
Infigratinib (BGJ398) is an orally administered, FGFR1-3-selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor in clinical development for the treatment of patients with FGFR-driven cancers. QED Therapeutics acquired the worldwide rights to infigratinib from Novartis for use in all applications and will develop the compound as a treatment for multiple FGFR-driven diseases, including cancers and achondroplasia.
Infigratinib is currently under study in a Phase 2 trial for the treatment of chemotherapy-refractory cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) with FGFR2 fusions and other activating genomic alterations. In an interim analysis of 63 patients in the ongoing trial, infigratinib demonstrated a 24% confirmed overall response rate. In the subset of patients with FGFR2 fusions, there was a 30% confirmed overall response rate. The median progression free survival in the group was 6.7 months.