Development of anti-angiogenic therapy including the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antibodies and VEGF-tyrosine kinase receptors has been a major landmark in cancer therapy leading improvement in survival in several cancers. While anti-angiogenic therapy is effective in some settings, resistance often develops owing to evasive, alternative pathways. Novel targets for anti-angiogenic therapy are urgently required to provide treatment alternatives in patients whose tumors are unresponsive to approved anti-angiogenic agents; one such pathway is the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP 9 and BMP 10) that activate the type I activin receptor-like kinase-1 (ALK1), which has been implicated in the development of functional vasculature. Dalantercept (ACE-041) is a novel anti-angiogenic agent, which is a soluble form of ALK1, and acts as a ligand trap for BMP 9 and BMP 10, inhibiting their interaction with ALK1, which further disrupts the process of vascular development. This review will discuss the preclinical and clinical development of dalantercept as a novel anti-angiogenic therapy in treating a variety of cancers and its distinct safety profile compared to other anti-VEGF agents. We will also discuss the ongoing and completed studies of dalantercept, including combination studies with other VEGF-directed therapies.
- Activin receptor inhibitors
- Anti-angiogenic agents