Lipids play a vital role in both cellular signaling and metabolism. Recent advances in technology have allowed the study of their role in cancer, viral infections and other disease processes. A critical fatty acid, palmitate, is generated by the enzyme fatty acid synthase (FASN). Palmitate is a central regulator in multiple pathways and a key precursor to many important cellular building blocks. Dysregulation of palmitate is critical to the pathology of cancer and viral infections.
Targeting FASN for oncology has a strong rationale based on its key role in lipid metabolism, lipid signaling and tumor cell survival. TVB-2640, is an oral, potent, specific, reversible inhibitor of FASN. Inhibiting FASN reduces the synthesis of palmitate, resulting in changes to lipid rafts, and alterations in the signaling through receptor tyrosine kinases, and palmitate-modified proteins such as Wnt. It also inhibits the ability of tumor cells to use palmitate as an energy source. These effects lead to anti-tumor effects demonstrated in cell lines, in cell-line based xenograft studies, and in patient-derived tumor xenograft studies. 3-V Biosciences has initiated a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical study with TVB-2640 in patients with advanced solid tumors based on the demonstrated activity of FASN inhibition in multiple tumor types in preclinical studies. In the ongoing study, TVB-2640 has demonstrated good exposure, tolerability and early signs of clinical benefit supporting continued development and advancement to expansion cohorts.
The role of lipid biology in viral replication is also being targeted as a therapeutic approach. FASN exploits the dependency of viruses on host pathways for replication, resulting in a new class of antiviral agents designed to have broad-spectrum antiviral activity and high barrier to resistance.
Dr. Parsey joined 3-V Biosciences as its Chief Executive Officer in 2010. Prior to joining 3-V, Dr. Parsey held positions of increasing responsibilities at Genentech, Inc., Sepracor, Regeneron and Merck, Inc. He was also the Director of Critical Care Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.
Dr. Parsey completed his MD and PhD at the University of Maryland, his residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford University and his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado.