Akinion (Sweden) will stop the development of its candidate for leukemia, after patients in phase I/II have experienced liver toxicity. As a result, main investor Karolinska Development takes an €8M hit in its portfolio valuation.
Sad news for Akinion. This Stockholm-based drug developer decided to halt the development of its lead candidate, APN-028. This happens after some patients enrolled in the phase I/II for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) developed severe liver toxicity.
APN-028 is a FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) inhibitor. FLT3 is abnormaly expressed in most types of AML, and has an important role in the development of blood cells and the immune system.
Targeting protein kinases is an established approach for many cancer therapies, and over 10 kinase inhibitors have been approved by the FDA in the last decade. Being a targeted therapy, it was also expected to have less generic cell toxicity.
So this candidate looked like a fairly safe bet. But as Jim Van heusden,