Experimental drugs targeting specific gene mutations in Mirati Therapeutics Inc helped about one-third of a small subset of patients in clinical trials where lung cancer had spread to the brain, the company said Monday.

Early data showed that of the 19 evaluated patients treated with adagrasive, 3 showed complete elimination of CNS metastases and 3 showed partial tumor shrinkage, Mirati said in Chicago. It was mentioned prior to the presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

With a median follow-up of 6.6 months, the company said 10 more patients achieved stabilization of brain metastases.

Serious side effects occurred in 36% of patients with adagressive.

Oral drugs are designed to target a variant of the gene known as KRAS that occurs in about 13% of the most common types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

In an interview, Mirati CEO David Meek said that “more than one-third of patients” with KRAS mutant lung cancer develop brain metastases.

According to Dr. Joshua Sabari, a study and oncologist at the NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York, these patients have a median overall survival of approximately 5 months.

Mirati said last week that the overall results of the study showed that adagressive shrinks tumors in 43% of 112 patients with advanced lung cancer. However, it also caused serious side effects such as liver toxicity and anemia, with 46% of them significantly reducing the company’s share.

Mirati shares, which rose 10% on Friday and closed at $ 44.33, have fallen about 70% so far this year.

Investors were keen to assess how Mirati’s drug overlaps with Amgen’s Lumaclass, the first KRAS-targeted cancer drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration last year.

Drugs are part of the growth trend of drugs that target specific genetic mutations that cause cancer, regardless of which organ the disease comes from.

The FDA will make an approval decision for Mirati’s advanced NSCLC drug by mid-December.

California-based Mirati is also testing adagrasib as an initial treatment for NSCLC, both alone and in combination with Merck & Co’s immunotherapy Keytruda.

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