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December 1, 2014 at 9:17 AM EST

Verastem to Present Data at the 2014 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 1, 2014-- Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM), focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, today announced scheduled oral and poster presentations at the 2014 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition taking place December 6 - 9, 2014, in San Francisco.

In total, five abstracts describing new preclinical data relating to the Company’s ongoing research and development programs will be presented. Two of Verastem’s drug candidates, VS-6063 and VS-4718, target cancer stem cells through potent inhibition of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). The FAK family consists of the closely related kinases FAK and proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (PYK2). FAK and PYK2 are the only two members of the FAK family. The effect of PYK2 inhibition by VS-4718 was described in a recently published study in the journal Blood where the anti-cancer activities of VS-4718 in preclinical models of hematological malignancy were explored.

Details for the data presentations are as follows:

Oral Presentation

Title: Focal Adhesion Kinase Inhibitors Reverse the Stromal Adhesion Phenotype of Ikaros-Mutant B-ALL, Induce Apopotosis, and Synergize with ABL1 Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors: A New Paradigm for Pathogenesis and Therapy of High-Risk B-ALL
Abstract #: 285
Session: 618. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Preclinical Models
Date and Time: Monday, December 8, 2014: 7:30 AM PT
Location: West Building, 3002-3004 (Moscone Center)

Poster Presentations

Title: VS-4718, a Potent Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) Inhibitor, Exhibits Anticancer Activity in Leukemia Models in Vitro and in Vivo
Abstract #: 982
Session: 616. Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Novel Therapy, excluding Transplantation: Poster I
Date and Time: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM PT
Location: North Building, Hall E (Moscone Center)

Title: Proline-Rich Tyrosine Kinase (PYK2) Promotes Tumor Progression in Multiple Myeloma (MM) and Represents a Novel Target for Therapy in MM
Abstract #: 2101
Session: 652. Myeloma: Pathophysiology and Pre-Clinical Studies, excluding Therapy: Poster I
Date and Time: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM PT
Location: West Building, Level 1 (Moscone Center)

Title: Targeting PYK2 Mediates Microenvironment-Specific Myeloma Cell Death
Abstract #: 2081
Session: 652. Myeloma: Pathophysiology and Pre-Clinical Studies, excluding Therapy: Poster I
Date and Time: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM PT
Location: West Building, Level 1 (Moscone Center)

Title: PYK2 Inhibitors Sensitize Hypoxia-Induced Drug Resistant Multiple Myeloma Cell
Abstract #: 4704
Session: 652. Myeloma: Pathophysiology and Pre-Clinical Studies, excluding Therapy: Poster III
Date and Time: Monday, December 8, 2014, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM PT
Location: West Building, Level 1 (Moscone Center)

The accepted abstracts listed above are now available online on the ASH conference website: www.hematology.org/Annual-Meeting/Abstracts/

About VS-6063

VS-6063 (defactinib) is an orally available compound designed to target cancer stem cells through the potent inhibition of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Cancer stem cells are an underlying cause of tumor resistance to chemotherapy, recurrence and ultimate disease progression. Research by Robert Weinberg, Ph.D., scientific cofounder and chair of Verastem’s Scientific Advisory Board, and Verastem has demonstrated that FAK activity is critical for the growth and survival of cancer stem cells. VS-6063 is currently being studied in the registration-directed COMMAND trial in mesothelioma (www.COMMANDmeso.com), a “Window of Opportunity” study in patients with mesothelioma prior to surgery, a Phase 1/1b study in combination with paclitaxel in patients with ovarian cancer, and a trial in patients with Kras-mutated non-small cell lung cancer. VS-6063 has been granted orphan drug designation in the U.S. and EU for use in mesothelioma.

About VS-4718

VS-4718 is an orally available compound designed to target cancer stem cells through the potent inhibition of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). VS-4718 is currently being studied in a Phase 1 dose escalation study in patients with advanced cancers.

About Verastem, Inc.

Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM) is discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are an underlying cause of tumor recurrence and metastasis. Verastem is developing small molecule inhibitors of signaling pathways that are critical to cancer stem cell survival and proliferation: FAK, PI3K/mTOR and Wnt. For more information, please visit www.verastem.com.

Forward-looking statements:

This press release includes forward-looking statements about the Company’s strategy, future plans and prospects, including statements regarding the development and activity of the Company’s product candidates, including VS-6063, or defactinib, and VS-4718, and the Company’s FAK and PI3K/mTOR programs generally, the timeline for clinical development and regulatory approval of the Company’s compound, and the structure of the Company’s planned or pending clinical trials. The words “anticipate,” “appear,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “potential,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “continue,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Each forward-looking statement is subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statement. Applicable risks and uncertainties include the risks that the preclinical testing of the Company’s product candidates and preliminary or interim data from clinical trials may not be predictive of the results or success of ongoing or later clinical trials, that data may not be available when we expect it to be, that the Company will be unable to successfully complete the clinical development of its product candidates, including VS-6063 and VS-4718, that the development of the Company’s product candidates will take longer or cost more than planned, and that the Company’s product candidates will not receive regulatory approval or become commercially successful products. Other risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and in any subsequent SEC filings. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events, and the Company does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Source: Verastem, Inc.

Verastem, Inc.
Brian Sullivan, 617-252-9314
bsullivan@verastem.com

Investor Contact

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John Doyle

VP Investor Relations & Finance
781.292.4279
jdoyle@verastem.com

Joe Rayne

Argot Partners
617.340.6075
joseph@argotpartners.com