ABBV-075 is a potent and selective BET family bromodomain inhibitor that recently entered Phase I clinical trials. Comprehensive preclinical characterization of ABBV-075 demonstrated broad activity across cell lines and tumor models representing a variety of hematological malignancies and solid tumor indications. In most cancer cell lines derived from solid tumors, ABBV-075 triggers prominent G1 cell cycle arrest without extensive apoptosis. In this study, we show that ABBV-075 efficiently triggers apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma (MM) cells. Apoptosis induced by ABBV-075 was mediated in part by modulation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway, exhibiting synergy with the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax in preclinical models of AML. In germinal center diffuse large B cell lymphoma, BCL-2 levels or venetoclax sensitivity predicted the apoptotic response to ABBV-075 treatment. In vivo combination studies uncovered surprising benefits of low doses of ABBV-075 coupled with bortezomib and azacitidine treatment, despite the lack of in vitro synergy between ABBV-075 and these agents. The in vitro/in vivo activities of ABBV-075 described here may serve as a useful reference to guide the development of ABBV-075 and other BET family inhibitors for cancer therapy.
- Received July 6, 2016.
- Revision received April 4, 2017.
- Accepted April 6, 2017.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.