molecules of the month

ulevostinag (MK-1454)

intratumoral STING agonist

in Ph. II for met. HNSCC

cyclic dinucleotide derivative

J. Med. Chem.

Merck, Kenilworth, NJ

MK-1454, intratumoral STING agonist - Merck, Kenilworth, NJ
3 mins read

Context. MK-1454 (Merck) is an intratumoral stimulator of interferon (IFN) genes (STING) agonist that is being developed for treatment of advanced solid tumors and lymphomas. The molecule follows Aduro’s ADU-S100, which was terminated after Ph. II due to a lack of substantial activity. Another chemotype of STING agonist, Eisai’s E7766, has also been highlighted. Despite having significantly transformed the cancer treatment landscape, the effectiveness of immunotherapy is still challenged by the inadequate pre-existence of anti-tumor immunity (“cold tumors”). With increasing data suggesting that the therapeutic efficacy of immunotherapy depends largely on type I IFN signaling, interest increased in targeting targets such as STING that can induce strong innate immune responses in tumors and can be combined with immunotherapy to enhance…

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