Discovery of a novel Raf kinase inhibitor.

    1. G Bollag
    1. Onyx Pharmaceuticals, 3031 Research Drive, Richmond, California 94806, USA. [email protected]


    We discuss the biology of Ras signal transduction and the epidemiology of ras mutations in association with disease as a background for the development of a Raf kinase inhibitor, BAY 43-9006. Knowledge of Ras effector pathways has permitted genetic validation of numerous targets involved in the Ras signaling cascade. A key Ras effector pathway involves the kinase cascade RAF/MEK/ERK (MEK: MAP/ERK kinase; ERK: extracellular signal related kinase). Indeed, we present studies of cell lines stably expressing mutant MEK constructs, which point to Raf kinase as a target for therapeutics with selective anti-tumor activity. Finally, a small molecule drug discovery program based on inhibition of Raf kinase activity is outlined and the initial pre-clinical development process of the Raf kinase inhibitor BAY 43-9006 is discussed.

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