Several years ago, AVEO scientists demonstrated through the use of our Human Response Platform™ the importance of ERBB3 in promoting tumor growth. An increasing body of evidence also implicates the activation of ERBB3 in tumorigenesis and the development of resistance to anti-cancer agents. AV-203 is a clinical-stage ERBB3 (HER3) inhibitory antibody candidate designed to inhibit both ligand-dependent and ligand-independent ERBB3 signaling. ERBB3 is a receptor that is typically expressed in many human cancers, and AV-203 has demonstrated preclinical activity in a number of different tumor models including breast, head and neck, lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancers.
AV-203 is currently being investigated in a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate safety and preliminary efficacy, as well as exploratory biomarkers, in patients with advanced solid tumors.
In March 2009, AVEO announced an exclusive option and license agreement with Biogen Idec, Inc. for the development and commercialization of our novel ERBB3-targeted antibodies for the potential treatment of cancer and other diseases. Through the agreement, AVEO retains North American commercialization rights to AV-203 and all ERBB3-binding antibodies, and is responsible for leading global development of the ERBB3 program.
ERBB3 belongs to a family of four proteins that also includes EGFR (HER1) and HER2 tyrosine kinase receptors. ERBB3 is a potent stimulator of cancer growth and survival, and its overexpression generally correlates with poor prognosis. AV-203 selectively targets the receptor ERBB3, a new and promising strategy for treating cancer, both for direct anti-tumor activity and for prevention of treatment resistance.