Accent’s lead program is a first-in-class DHX9 inhibitor with the potential to address high unmet need indications, including tumors with BRCA loss of function (triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), ovarian), deficient mismatch repair (dMMR) including high microsatellite instable (MSI-H) cancers (colorectal, endometrial, gastric), and additional undisclosed cancer types representing large patient populations. DHX9 is an RNA helicase that has been reported to play important roles in replication, transcription, translation, RNA splicing, RNA processing, and maintenance of genomic stability. Overexpression of DHX9 is observed in multiple cancer types making this helicase a compelling novel oncology target. Inhibition of DHX9 exploits a key vulnerability of cancers to induce cancer cell death while sparing normal cells.
Accent’s pursuit of this novel target is enabled by a proprietary crystal structure and suite of bespoke assays developed in-house to support high-throughput screening efforts for efficient drug discovery efforts.
This program is advancing rapidly, and IND-enabling studies have been initiated. We are also exploring the sensitivity of other tumor types to DHX9 inhibition as well as the potential to combine with other cancer treatments as part of our work to uncover the full scope of DHX9’s potential and bring this treatment to as many patients as possible.