Velcade is an effective treatment for multiple myeloma, but some patients’ myeloma can become resistant to the drug.
A new drug called GMI-1271 by GlycoMimetics may restore Velcade’s power and once again provide hope to patients, according to a recent article in Leukemia.
GMI-1271 blocks E-selectin, an adhesion molecule found in the bone marrow microenvironment. E-selectin is more prevalent in relapsed myeloma and the finding may provide answers about how myeloma becomes more aggressive and resistant to treatment.
In the study, investigators injected myeloma cells into mice. Mice with higher factors that bind E-selectin developed more aggressive myeloma and died earlier. They administered GMI-1271 alone with no impact on the tumor. When researchers gave both Velcade and GMI-1271 together, the myeloma tumor burden was reduced.
Dr. John L. Magnani, vice president and chief scientific officer of GlycoMimetics said:
“The results in this preclinical study demonstrate that targeting E-selectin may provide a novel approach to treatment of patients with multiple myeloma and could potentially restore sensitivity to chemotherapy and, in particular, proteasome inhibitor therapy,”