The VEGF/VEGFR and angiopoietin/Tie-2 signaling pathways are important in the process of vascular endothelial growth (angiogenesis) and in the maintenance of tumor-associated blood vessels. While there are several agents targeting the VEGF/VEGFR signaling pathway, there are none available that target the angiopoietin/Tie-2 signaling pathway. The first such agent to reach clinical trials is AMG-386 (2xCon4C), being developed by Amgen Inc and licensed in Japan to Takeda Bio Development Center Ltd. AMG-386 is an anti-angiopoietin peptibody comprising a peptide with angiopoietin-binding properties that is fused to the Fc (crystallizable fragment) region of an antibody and inhibits the interaction between the ligands angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 with the Tie-2 receptor. AMG-386 significantly inhibited the growth of tumors in a variety of mouse xenograft models. In phase I trials of AMG-386 as a monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy in patients with advanced solid tumors, AMG-386 demonstrated only mild toxicities, and one complete response and several partial responses were achieved in patients. Phase II trials of AMG-386 in combination with chemotherapy were ongoing in a variety of solid tumors, including breast, ovarian, colorectal, gastric and renal cell cancers. If safe and effective, AMG-386 could be an exciting addition to other antiangiogenic therapies in solid tumors.
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