Introduction

Ikaros family zinc finger protein 1 and 3 (IKZF1/3) are essential transcription factors (TF) for terminal differentiation of B and T cells. Depletion of IKZF1/3 in MM cells inhibits growth, confirming their dependency on IKZF1/3. IMiDs (lenalidomide[len], pomalidomide[pom]) are effective therapies for treatment of MM and promote degradation of IKZF1/3 via their interaction with CRL4-CRBN E3 ligase. Most patients treated with len or pom eventually develop progressive disease due to acquired resistance, underscoring an unmet medical need. CFT7455 is a novel IKZF1/3 degrader optimized for high affinity cereblon (CRBN) binding, rapid IKZF1/3 degradation, and potent in vivo efficacy.

Results

CFT7455 demonstrated an 800 to 1600-fold improvement in CRBN binding compared to pom in biochemical and cellular NanoBRET assays, respectively. In H929 MM cells expressing HiBiT-tagged IKZF1, CFT7455 induced >75% degradation of IKZF1 within 1.5 hr. The high binding affinity and degradation catalysis shown with CFT7455 enabled potent antiproliferative activity across a panel of MM cell lines as well as H929 cells made resistant to IMiDs. In RPMI-8226 MM mice xenografts, CFT7455 (0.1 mg/kg/day) resulted in deep, durable degradation of IKZF3 (21% and 9.5% of vehicle levels at 4 and 24 hr, respectively). Protein levels for IRF4, an essential TF in MM, declined over 7 days with daily CFT7455 treatment to 8% of vehicle levels. Dose dependent efficacy ranged from 0.003-0.1 mg/kg/day, with tumor regression evident at doses ≥0.01 mg/kg/day. Pom was inactive in this model at a human equivalent dose (3 mg/kg/day), with no observed tumor shrinkage in these mice following 17 days of dosing. Switching pom treatment to CFT7455 (0.1 mg/kg/day) on Day 18 led to tumor regression in 67% of animals on Day 28 and 100% tumor regression on Day 35, demonstrating that CFT7455 penetrates large tissues and is efficacious in rapidly growing, IMiD resistant tumors. In the H929 tumor xenograft model, administration of CFT7455 (0.1 mg/kg/day) promoted tumor regression (95% tumor growth inhibition by 7 days); dosing was stopped after 21 days. On Day 63, half the tumors remained below their starting tumor volume. Additionally, CFT7455 demonstrated durable tumor regression in the aggressive MM1.S systemic MM tumor model. In mice bearing RPMI-8226 xenograft tumors, the combination of CFT7455 (QD) and dexamethasone (QW) was more active, and demonstrated a significant survival improvement, compared to either agent alone.

Conclusions

CFT7455 is a highly potent, catalytic degrader of IKZF1/3, with marked antitumor activity as a single agent and in combination with dexamethasone. Importantly, CFT7455 retains activity in models resistant or insensitive to IMiDs. These results warrant investigation of CFT7455 as a therapeutic approach for MM and a clinical study is planned.

Citation Format: James A. Henderson, R. Jason Kirby, Samantha Perino, Roman V. Agafonov, Prasoon Chaturvedi, Bradley Class, David Cocozziello, Scott J. Eron, Andrew Good, Ashley A. Hart, Christina Henderson, Marta Isasa, Brendon Ladd, Matt Schnaderbeck, Michelle Mahler, Roy M. Pollock, Adam S. Crystal, Christopher G. Nasveschuk, Andrew J. Phillips, Stewart L. Fisher, David A. Proia. CFT7455: A novel, IKZF1/3 degrader that demonstrates potent tumor regression in IMiD-resistant multiple myeloma (MM) xenograft models [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021; 2021 Apr 10-15 and May 17-21. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2021;81(13_Suppl):Abstract nr LB007.