WEE1 Inhibitor discovered by Almac Discovery advanced into two clinical studies addressing the treatment of advanced solid tumours 

June 6, 2023

Almac Discovery, the drug discovery biotech operating within the Almac Group of companies, has announced that the highly selective WEE1 inhibitor which it licensed to Debiopharm (Switzerland) and now known as Debio 0123, has been progressed into further clinical studies.  The first patients have now received treatment in two separate clinical studies involving glioblastoma (GBM) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). 

In both studies, Debiopharm has combined Debio 0123 with standard of care therapy in patients with either GBM, one of the most aggressive and common lethal tumours of the central nervous system, or SCLC, a highly aggressive, hard-to-treat cancer with poor prognosis.   

The Debio 0123 programme offers the potential to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients suffering from GBM or SCLC. In cancer cells, DDR pathways are often upregulated due to genomic instability, providing potential resistance pathways to DNA-damaging therapies. Therefore, blocking kinases such as WEE1 which play essential roles in DNA repair is likely to increase the cancer’s vulnerability to SOC therapies. Preclinical results have shown that Debio 0123 successfully crosses the blood brain barrier and inhibits tumour growth.  

Dr Stephen Barr, Managing Director and President, Almac Discovery said: “Since the discovery of our highly selective WEE1 inhibitor, we have looked forward to understanding its potential therapeutic benefit for cancer patients across the globe. We are delighted that it has progressed into further clinical development in these two cancer indication studies with high unmet medical need and look forward to seeing further progress from this ongoing clinical research.” 

“The Debio 0123 program originates from a growing awareness of DDR inhibition in fighting life-threatening cancers. Optimizing efficacy, while preserving safety are key elements that Debiopharm is eager to assess throughout the clinical development of Debio 0123. With the fruition of these factors, Debio 0123 could become the first choice WEE1 inhibitor.” Angela Zubel, Chief Development Officer, Debiopharm. 


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