SHP2 is a novel drug target that aims to overcome resistance associated with current RTKi cancer therapies

Drugs targeting specific gene or protein alterations essential to cancer progression have made great advances in recent times, however resistance to such agents can occur. This phenomenon has been widely observed clinically with receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (RTKi) such as Gefitinib, Crizotinib and Imatinib, where cancers develop mutations in the tyrosine kinase protein that render existing cancer therapies ineffective. SHP2 is a protein-tyrosine phosphatase that has a key role in receptor tyrosine kinase signaling in cancer cells.

Competitive phosphatase inhibitors that directly bind the catalytic site of the enzyme carry the risk of hitting too many vital phosphatases at the same time; therefore, Redx is focused on a more indirect method of achieving SHP2 inhibition in order to ensure specificity.

By inhibiting the SHP2 protein we aim to overcome the multiple resistance mechanisms associated with RTKi treatments, with the ultimate aim of improving cancer patient survival.

Additionally, recent research has suggested an important role for SHP2 in immune checkpoint signalling. Inhibition of SHP2 could therefore enhance the ability of the immune system to fight cancer.