Introduction: CDK7 is a key regulator of transcription and cell cycle progression and has been implicated in multiple tumor types driven by aberrant transcriptional control (e.g. MYC-, ESR1-activation) and/or aberrant cell cycle control (e.g. RB1, CCNE1, CDKN2A alterations). SY-5609 is an oral, potent, and highly selective CDK7 inhibitor that is advancing through IND-enabling studies to support initiation of a planned Phase 1 oncology trial in early 2020. Here we report on the relationship between pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), and tumor growth inhibition (TGI) in xenograft models of tumor types with transcriptional and/or cell cycle aberrations including high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), small cell lung cancer (SCLC), triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), and estrogen receptor positive breast cancer (ER+BC). Methods: The relationship between SY-5609 PK, PD, and TGI was evaluated in xenograft models of HGSOC (OVCAR3) and TNBC (HCC70) using once daily (QD) or twice daily (BID) dosing via oral gavage. SY-5609 TGI was evaluated as a single agent (SA) QD in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of HGSOC (n=3), SCLC (n=4), TNBC (n=4), and in combination with once weekly fulvestrant in ER+BC PDX models selected in vivo for resistance to the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib (n=1) or resistance to both palbociclib and fulvestrant (n=1). Results: SY-5609 plasma exposure was dose proportional and did not accumulate after repeated therapeutic doses. Dose-dependent transcriptional responses in xenograft tissue were observed within 4 hours of SY-5609 dosing and were sustained for 24 hours. TGI was dose-dependent, with tumor regressions observed at doses significantly below the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). Similar TGI was seen when the same daily dose was administered either QD or BID suggesting that the effect was driven by overall exposure or minimum concentration. In HGSOC, SCLC, and TNBC PDX models, SA SY-5609 induced >50% TGI in all models tested (11/11), with 7/11 (64%) demonstrating robust anti-tumor activity (≥90% TGI or regression): 3/3 HGSOC, 2/4 SCLC, and 2/4 TNBC. In a palbociclib-resistant ER+BC PDX model, the combination of SY-5609 and fulvestrant induced significant TGI (89%), with no evident tumor regrowth up to 21 days after dosing cessation, distinguishing the observed effects from SY-5609 SA or fulvestrant SA. In a palbociclib and fulvestrant double-resistant ER+ BC PDX model, SY-5609 SA resulted in 33% TGI and fulvestrant SA had no activity. In contrast, the combination of SY-5609 and fulvestrant demonstrated significant TGI (68%; p<0.0001 vs fulvestrant SA), suggesting re-sensitization to fulvestrant. Conclusions: We have characterized PK, PD, and anti-tumor activity of the CDK7 inhibitor SY-5609 in a series of xenograft models. Exposure in plasma is dose-proportional and does not accumulate at therapeutic dose levels. SY-5609 induces dose-dependent transcriptional responses in tumor xenograft tissue and shows robust TGI, including regressions, in PDX models derived from multiple solid tumor indications. These results highlight the broad potential for SY-5609 across a variety of solid tumor types, including treatment resistant ER+BC, and support the development of SY-5609 in early phase clinical trials.

Citation Format: Liv H Johannessen, Shanhu Hu, Nan Ke, Anthony D'Ippolito, Nisha Rajagopal, Jason Marineau, Anneli Savinainen, William Zamboni, Graeme Hodgson. Preclinical evaluation of PK, PD, and antitumor activity of the oral, non-covalent, potent and highly selective CDK7 inhibitor, SY-5609, provides rationale for clinical development in multiple solid tumor indications [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics; 2019 Oct 26-30; Boston, MA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Mol Cancer Ther 2019;18(12 Suppl):Abstract nr C091. doi:10.1158/1535-7163.TARG-19-C091