Currently, the only approved treatments for gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) are tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), which eventually lead to the development of secondary resistance mutations in KIT or PDGFRA and disease progression. Herein, we identified G protein–coupled receptor 20 (GPR20) as a novel non–tyrosine kinase target in GIST, developed new GPR20 IHC, and assessed GPR20 expression in cell lines, patient-derived xenografts, and clinical samples from two institutes (United States and Japan). We studied GPR20 expression stratified by treatment line, KIT expression, GIST molecular subtype, and primary tumor location. We produced DS-6157a, an anti-GPR20 antibody–drug conjugate with a novel tetrapeptide-based linker and DNA topoisomerase I inhibitor exatecan derivative (DXd). DS-6157a exhibited GPR20 expression–dependent antitumor activity in GIST xenograft models including a GIST model resistant to imatinib, sunitinib, and regorafenib. Preclinical pharmacokinetics and safety profile of DS-6157a support its clinical development as a potential novel GIST therapy in patients who are refractory or have resistance or intolerance to approved TKIs.
GPR20 is selectively expressed in GIST across all treatment lines, regardless of KIT/PDGFRA genotypes. We generated DS-6157a, a DXd-based antibody–drug conjugate that exhibited antitumor activity in GIST models by a different mode of action than currently approved TKIs, showing favorable pharmacokinetics and safety profiles.
This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1307