Erasca has announced a shakeup of its clinical pipeline, shutting down three clinical programmes and licensing two cancer therapies from Joyo Pharmatech and Medshine Discovery.

The company has paid $12.5m upfront to China-based Joyo for global rights, excluding mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, to a pan-RAS molecular glue therapy, ERAS-0015. Joyo will also be entitled to receive up to $176.5m in milestone-based payments along with royalties on sales.

Erasca also has the option to gain licensing rights to Joyo territories by making a one-time payment. The company can exercise the election either before the dosing of the first patient in a Phase II clinical trial or at the time of the filing of a New Drug Application (NDA) or its foreign equivalent, by either Erasca or Joyo.

A Phase I AURORAS-1 trial evaluating ERAS-0015 as a treatment for solid tumours with Ras mutations is slated to start in 2026. The investigational new drug (IND) filing is expected in the first half of next year.

Molecular glue therapies have become an area of interest for developing therapies to treat cancers and rare diseases. This therapeutic approach has also driven high-value deals, with Novo Nordisk spending up to $1.46bn as part of a collaboration and licensing agreement with Neomorph to discover and develop multiple molecular glue degraders for cardiometabolic disorders and rare diseases.

Erasca is also betting on a pan-KRAS inhibitor, ERAS-4001, from Medshine. The US-based company will pay $10m upfront and up to $160m in milestone-based payments, along with royalties on sales, for the exclusive worldwide licence to develop and commercialise ERAS-4001. The Phase I BOREALIS-1 trial for ERAS-4001 in KRAS mutated solid tumours has an expected start date in 2026, with IND filing expected in Q1 next year.

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Erasca had an internal pan-KRAS program, ERAS-4, which it will discontinue. This programme termination is contingent on certain existing ERAS-4 molecules being included as “potential backup compounds” for ERAS-4001, as part of the Medshine agreement.

The two other clinical programmes that Erasca plans to discontinue include ERAS-007, an ERK inhibitor that failed to show efficacy in a Phase I/II trial to support further development, and ERAS-801, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor. Still, the company stated that it plans to explore advancing ERAS-801 through investigator-sponsored trials.

The pipeline shuffle was also accompanied by a workforce reduction of approximately 18%. Erasca added that redundant staff primarily worked in drug discovery and deprioritised programmes.

The one candidate Erasca is keeping is a pan-RAF inhibitor, naporafenib. The company is evaluating the therapy in Phase I and III trials (NCT05907304 and NCT06346067) in combination with Novartis’ mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK) inhibitor trametinib.