Debio 0123

Debio 0123 is a Wee1 kinase inhibitor currently in phase I research in refractory solid tumors. The compound is being developed based on the deepened understanding of the DNA damage response (DDR) of cancer cells. Inhibition of WEE1 prevents cells to arrest or repair DNA damages and force them to prematurely continue through the cell cycle, therefore accumulating unrepaired DNA damages ultimately leading to cell death. The compound is being developed in light of the need to improve cancer patients’ treatment response and to overcome treatment resistance to current therapies. Pre-clinical models have shown anti-tumor activity both as a single agent and in combination with carboplatin. The advancement of Debio 0123 into clinical studies will assess the therapeutic results for cancer patients in various tumor types.

Product Snapshot

Pro-apoptotic & promotes programmed cell death

Inhibition of Wee1 Kinase

Forced arrest of DDR leading to apoptosis

Being researched in:

  • Solid tumors

In short

Initially discovered by Almac Discovery before being licensed by Debiopharm, Debio 0123 could prevent tumor growth by inhibiting Wee1 thereby disrupting DDR through the G2/M and S phase checkpoints

The primary objective of the Phase 1, first-in-human, study (NCT03968653) is to determine the recommended phase 2 dose of Debio 0123 in combination with carboplatin in participants with advanced solid tumors that have recurred or progressed following prior platinum based therapy.

Focus on Debio 0123 Mode of Action

Wee1 is a key regulator of the G2/M and S phase checkpoints, activated in response to DNA damage, that allow cells to repair their DNA before resuming the cell cycle. Inhibition of Wee1, particularly in combination with DNA damaging agents, induces an overload of arrests in the DNA damage response process. Also, in conjunction with the failure of other checkpoints, such as G1 controlled by p53, Wee1 inhibition pushes the cells through their cycle before DNA repair, promoting mitotic catastrophe and inducing apoptosis of cancer cells. The resulting impairment of the G2-M checkpoint prevents cancer cells from repairing DNA damage, favoring the enhancement of the effect of the DNA damaging therapy and potentially improving therapeutic outcomes.

Focus on DNA Damage Response

DNA damage response consists of all proteins and processes that ensure that the cell cycle does not progress with damaged DNA. Replication is a highly regulated process that guarantees the faithful duplication of the genome once per cell cycle, and any condition that compromises it is referred to as replication stress. Replication stress, characterized by DNA synthesis slow down and or replication fork stalling, is a major cause of genome instability and is linked to the development of tumor cells. Replication is not present in normal cells and as such targeting DDR offers new opportunities for drug development.

Development milestones

  • 2017

    In-licenced by Debiopharm

  • 2019

    First-in human dose escalation

  • 2021

    Launch of monotherapy trial

  • 2022

    Phase I results

  • 2023

    Launch of glioblastoma and small cell lung cancer trials