Business

Verastem begins inhibitor compound trial

Robert Forrester is the president of Verastem.
Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/File
Robert Forrester is the president of Verastem.

Cambridge-based Verastem Inc., which focuses on developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, said Wednesday it has initiated a phase 1 trial of VS-4718, a novel, small molecule inhibitor of focal adhesion kinase, in patients with advanced cancer. The study will enroll up to 40 patients at three US locations. Verastem president and chief operating officer Robert Forrester said VS-4718 is the second compound in the company’s portfolio to enter clinical development.