Tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) inhibitors are not a name that rolls off the tongue easily and yet this niche is attracting a lot of interest from observers curious to learn more about a highly targeted approach to rare oncogenes such as TRK, ROS1 and ALK that occur in several different tumour types.
Much of the focus has been on the more commonly expressed ALK-positive lung cancers with crizotinib, ceritinib, alectinib, brigatinib, lorlatinib and others. Crizotinib also targets ROS1 and is approved by the FDA in metastatic NSCLC whose tumors are ROS1-positive.
As the next part of the development in this sphere, TRK and ROS1 mutations are now in the spotlight. Indeed, we have been reporting on the data since 2014, which has been encouraging thus far, particularly from two companies, namely Ignyta and Loxo Oncology. These two agents differ in that entrectinib targets TRK/ROS1/ALK whereas larotrectinib is a specific pan TRK inhibitor.
There was a new raft of data at the recent AACR annual meeting and more data is expected at the forthcoming ASCO conference.
Here, we take a look under the hood through the lens of one of the small biotechs in this space via a candid interview with Ignyta CEO, Dr Jonathan Lim.