This excerpt taken from the VRTX 8-K filed Jun 17, 2005.
in vivo studies. VX-680 is a potent inhibitor of Aurora kinases and of Flt-3 kinase, which have been implicated in the onset and progression of human leukemias. VX-680 has demonstrated prolonged survival and induced sustained remission in a model of human AML, and has also shown profound effects in a number of other preclinical cancer models.
The biologic profile and preclinical studies of VX-680 indicate that this compound has the potential for treating a broad range of human leukemias by inducing apoptosis in the cells that drive disease, said Stephen H. Friend, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Advanced Technology and Oncology at Merck Research Laboratories. The clinical study announced today is designed to promote rapid clinical assessment of VX-680 in patients with a variety of leukemic and pre-leukemic disease states. In addition, access to the leukemic cells in the blood provides a unique opportunity for understanding the biologic effects and anti-cancer activity of Aurora kinase inhibition on a molecular level.