The formation and onset of the prevalent form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML, FAB subtype M2) requires RUNX1/ETO, the product of the t(8;21) chromosomal translocation. Tetramerization through the nervy homology region 2 (NHR2) of ETO is essential for the RUNX1/ETO-mediated transformation. The inventors demonstrated that inhibition of NHR2 tetramerization by first-in-class small molecules is a viable entry point for the treatment of AML. Drug candidates have been identified by a small-molecule in silico screening and have been validated in cellular assays. Several compounds proved to be successful in inhibiting NHR2 tetramerization. Preferred compound 7.44 was able to slow tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model (SKNO 1 xenograft). The pending patent application covers claims directed to a variety of chemotypes that proved activity against AML.
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