A promising novel anti-cancer drug target MELK (maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase) is highly upregulated in various cancers including breast cancer and plays important roles in tumor growth as well as formation and maintenance of cancer-stem cells.

OTS has developed first-in-class MELK inhibitor OTS167 and validated its potent and specific anti-tumor activity in various tumor xenograft model.


Chung, H. Suzuki, T. Miyamoto, N. Takamatsu, A. Tatsuguchi, K. Ueda, K. Kijima, Y. Nakamura, Y. Matsuo. “Development of an orally-administrative MELK-targeting inhibitor that suppresses the growth of various types of human cancer.” Oncotarget 3: 1629 – 1640 (2012).

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