-Author name in bold denotes the presenting author
-Asterisk * with author name denotes a Non-ASH member
Clinically Relevant Abstract denotes an abstract that is clinically relevant.

PhD Trainee denotes that this is a recommended PHD Trainee Session.

Ticketed Session denotes that this is a ticketed session.

3473 DIACC2010, Sole-in-Class Selective Inhibitor of Kinesin KIF20A, Has Potent Preclinical Efficacy in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 802. Chemical Biology and Experimental Therapeutics: Poster II
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Translational Research
Sunday, December 11, 2022, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Sylvain Garciaz, MD PHD1*, Yves Collette, PhD1,2*, Remy Castellano, PhD1,2*, Michel Aurrand-Lions, PhD1*, Helene Sicard, PhD3*, Laetitia Jentreau3*, Norbert Vey, MD4 and Cecile Bougeret, PhD3*

1Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR7258, Marseille, France; Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille, INSERM U1068, Marseille, France, Marseille, France
2TrGET Platform, CRCM, Marseille, France
3R&D, Diaccurate SA, Paris, France
4Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Aix-Marseille University, UM 105, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille (CRCM), Inserm, U1068, CNRS UMR7258, Marseille, France

Context: Despite recent therapeutic advances in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and the decent proportion of complete remission after induction chemotherapy, relapse rate is still high and long-term survival does not exceed 20%. The therapeutic arsenal of AML could benefit from differentiated strategies. Mitotic kinesins are essential regulators of cancer cell replication and migration. The microtubule associated motor protein KIF20A (also called MKlp2), a member of the kinesin-6 family, plays an essential role during cytokinesis and is also involved in the fission of RAB6-positive vesicles from Golgi membrane, therefore contributing to intracellular vesicular trafficking. KIF20A plays a critical role in the development and progression of many cancers, and its high expression is associated with disease progression and poor survival outcome. More specifically, immature hematopoietic cells, exhibit high KIF20A expression, whereas mature peripheral blood cells do not. Herein we describe the preclinical anti-leukemic efficacy of DIACC2010, sole-in-class selective KIF20A inhibitor.

Methods: We used cell lines (U-937, KG-1, CEM, KASUMI, SKM-1, MOLM-14, HL-60, MV-4-11, THP1) provided by ATCC and a Cell line-Derived Xenograft models to demonstrate the anti-leukemic activity od DIAC2010. Briefly, NOD.Cg-Prkdc scid/J (NSG) mice were obtained from Charles River France and maintained under specific pathogen-free conditions. Animals were injected via tail vein with 0.2 106 viable human leukemia cells. Mice were treated with 0.9% NaCl or Diacc2010 (200 mg/kg IV; once a week). Daily monitoring of mice for symptoms of disease determined the time of killing for animals with signs of distress. In addition, primary AML samples were obtained after informed consent. Cells were transplanted to NSG mice, collected after the 3rd transplantation and drug tests were performed ex vivo. All animal experiments were performed in compliance with the laws and in agreement with the French Guidelines for animal handling and approved by animal ethics committees (Agreement no. APAFIS#6743). Golgi imaging was performed using anti-GM130 antibody. Cell cycle, Caspase-Glo 3/7 and Annexin V/PI tests were performed according to the manufacturer's protocols.

Results: DIACC2010 demonstrated potent and consistent cytotoxic activity in vitro against a panel of 9 human AML cell lines, with median IC50 of 40 nM (range 10-77 nM). In the same experimental conditions, cytarabine (CYTA) had median IC50 of 207 nM (range 4-1580 nM). DIACC2010 was subsequently evaluated in vivo in xenograft models of AML cell lines. DIACC2010 significantly improved overall survival as compared to CYTA in all models, with dose-dependent efficacy as shown in Figure A ( MOLM14 cells. Next, DIACC2010 cytotoxic activity was evaluated in vitro on 8 primary AML patient samples, IC50 ranged from 57 nM to 728 nM across the tested samples. DIACC2010 antitumoral activity is currently evaluated in Patients Derived Xenograft model. In parallel, no in vitro toxicity of DIACC2010 was observed on human normal cells such as peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and primary hepatocytes (IC50 >50 µM).

On a mechanistic standpoint, DIACC2010-exposed AML cells displayed characteristic Golgi scattering, observed within 1 hour of treatment and majoring at 6 hours confirming target engagement (Figure B). In parallel, we observed a strong block in cell cycle in G2/M after 6 hours of treatment (45% of cells versus 21% in the control condition). This was associated with a high caspase activation that occurred mainly after 24 hours of treatment. This cascade led to cell death assessed by annexin V/PI between 24 and 48 hours after treatment initiation. Nevertheless, caspase inhibitors ZVAD-fmk and Emricasan partially rescued DIACC2010 cell death, although these inhibitors significantly rescued caspase activation induced by Venetoclax, a BCL-2 inhibitor triggering intrinsic apoptosis commonly used in AML treatment. We ruled out necroptosis and ferroptosis as cell death pathways triggered by DIACC2010 using pharmacological inhibitors. These data strongly suggests that DIACC2010 induces a non-redundant cell death pathway that could be advantageously used to kill resistant AML cells.

Conclusion: Altogether, these results confirm the relevance of KIF20A-directed therapeutic approaches and support the development of DIACC2010 for the treatment of AML.

Disclosures: Garciaz: Abbvie: Honoraria; Astellas: Honoraria; Novartis: Honoraria; Amgen: Honoraria; Servier: Consultancy, Honoraria. Vey: Jazz Pharmaceuticals: Honoraria; Janssen: Honoraria; Novartis: Honoraria, Research Funding; Roche: Honoraria; BMS: Honoraria; Amgen: Honoraria.

*signifies non-member of ASH