Asciminib is in clinical development as a third line therapy for adult patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) who have been previously treated with two or more tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). CML is a slowly developing cancer that arises due to the production of abnormal immune cells known as white blood cells. In the chronic phase of CML, the tumour cells are relatively stable and slow growing, and patients may be asymptomatic or have a mild disease. The current treatments for chronic phase CML involves giving patients targeted cancer therapies such as TKI or a stem cell transplant.
Asciminib is a TKI taken orally. TKIs block chemical messengers (enzymes) called tyrosine kinases, which promote cell growth and division, including of tumour cells, so blocking them may stop cancer growth. Asciminib works differently from all current approved TKIs by using a mechanism which may overcome resistance or side effects of treatment in patients on current TKIs. If approved, asciminib would offer an additional treatment option for chronic phase CML patients who have been treated with two or more TKIs.