Abstract 581

The long-term prognosis for the majority of patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is very poor due, in part, to pre-existing myelodysplasia, multidrug resistance, and co-existing morbidities that limit therapeutic options. Novel strategies are essential in order to improve clinical outcomes. TAK-901 is an investigational small molecule kinase inhibitor that is currently being evaluated in Phase I trials. In preclinical studies, TAK-901 has demonstrated significant effects against a number of kinases with important roles in cancer including the Aurora kinases, which are key regulators of mitosis and whose overexpression in cancer promotes genetic instability, malignant pathogenesis, and drug resistance. We hypothesized that simultaneously targeting the activity of the Auroras and other oncogenic kinases with TAK-901 would disrupt AML pathogenesis. In order to test our hypothesis, we investigated the efficacy and pharmacodynamic activity of TAK-901 human AML cell lines, primary AML specimens, and an orthotopic bioluminescent disseminated mouse model of AML. TAK-901 potently diminished the viability of a panel of 8 AML cell lines as well as primary cells obtained from patients with AML. Acute exposure to TAK-901 ablated clonogenic survival, triggered the accumulation of polyploid cells, and induced apoptosis. The cytostatic and cytotoxic effects of TAK-901 were associated with significantly increased expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27, growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible 45a (GADD45a), and the BH3-only pro-apoptotic protein PUMA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays revealed that the elevation in the expression of these genes caused by administration of TAK-901 was due to increased FOXO3a transcriptional activity. The in vivo anti-leukemic activity of TAK-901 was investigated in a disseminated xenograft mouse model of AML established by intravenous injection of luciferase-expressing MV4-11 cells. IVIS Xenogen imaging was utilized to monitor disease burden throughout the study. In this mouse model, administration of TAK-901 was very well-tolerated and significantly more effective than the standard of care drug cytarabine with respect to suppressing disease progression and prolonging overall survival. Analysis of specimens collected from mice demonstrated that TAK-901 inhibited the homing of AML cells to the bone marrow microenvironment and induced AML cell apoptosis in vivo. Our collective findings indicate that TAK-901 is a novel multi-targeted kinase inhibitor that has significant preclinical activity in AML models and warrants further investigation.


Satou:Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Employment. Hasegawa:Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Employment. Romanelli:Millennium Pharmaceuticals: Employment. de Jong:Takeda San Diego: Employment. Carew:Millennium Pharmaceuticals: Research Funding.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.