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Discovery of Asciminib (ABL001), an Allosteric Inhibitor of the Tyrosine Kinase Activity of BCR-ABL1

Schoepfer, Joseph, Jahnke, Wolfgang, Berellini, Giuliano, Buonamici, Silvia, Cotesta, Simona, Jacob, Sandra, Dodd, Stephanie, Drueckes, Peter, Fabbro, Doriano, Gabriel, Tobias, Groell, Jean-Marc, Grotzfeld, Robert, Hassan, Asm Quamrul, Henry, Christelle, Iyer, Varsha, Jones, Darryl, Lombardo, Franco, Loo, Alice, Manley, Paul W., Pelle, Xavier, Rummel, Gabriele, Salem, Bahaa, Warmuth, Markus, Wylie, Andrew, Zoller, Thomas, Marzinzik, Andreas and Furet, Pascal (2018) Discovery of Asciminib (ABL001), an Allosteric Inhibitor of the Tyrosine Kinase Activity of BCR-ABL1. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 61 (18). pp. 8120-8135. ISSN 15204804


Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) arises from the constitutive activity of the BCR-ABL1 oncoprotein. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that target the ATP-binding site have transformed CML into a chronic manageable disease. However, some patients develop drug resistance due to ATP-site mutations impeding drug binding. We describe the discovery of asciminib (ABL001), the first allosteric BCR-ABL1 inhibitor to reach the clinic. Asciminib binds to the myristate pocket of BCR-ABL1 and maintains activity against TKI-resistant ATP-site mutations. Although resistance can emerge due to myristate-site mutations, these are sensitive to ATP-competitive inhibitors so that combinations of asciminib with ATP-competitive TKIs suppress the emergence of resistance. Fragment-based screening using NMR and X-ray yielded ligands for the myristate pocket. An NMR-based conformational assay guided the transformation of these inactive ligands into ABL1 inhibitors. Further structure-based optimization for potency, physicochemical, pharmacokinetic, and drug-like properties, culminated in asciminib, which is currently undergoing clinical studies in CML patients.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2018 00:45
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2018 00:45