Synta Pharmaceuticals has reported positive results from a Phase II single-agent clinical trial of ganetespib in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who had failed prior therapy.

Ganetespib is a potent, synthetic, small-molecule inhibitor of heat-shock protein 90, a molecular chaperone required for the proper folding and activation of many cancer-promoting proteins.

In the trial ganetespib showed tumour shrinkage in target lesions, improved disease control rate and objective response rate.

Julie Brahmer of the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center said the results suggest that ganetespib has promising potential to benefit lung cancer patients, particularly with ALK or KRAS mutations.