Publication date: 22/05/2018
CoBioRes NV, an early stage biotech company that valorises promising academic research in the field of medicine by translating it into innovative therapeutic approaches, announced that it has received a € 1.7 million R&D grant from Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO). This grant will allow CoBioRes to further develop and to select a lead Tetra-doxo candidate (doxorubicin prodrug) for treatment of Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) based on in vivo efficacy and toxicity testing. Furthermore, potential new biomarkers will be investigated.
Approximately 12% of all breast cancers are triple negative. In TNBC the growth of the cancer is not supported by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, nor characterised by the presence of many HER2 receptors. Therefore, TNBC does not respond to hormonal therapy or therapies that target HER2 receptors, such as trastuzumab (Herceptin). There’s a clear need for new effective treatments in this large patient population.
“We are very pleased to receive this support from VLAIO. This will enable the company to obtain in vivo proof-of-concept of its Tetra-doxo prodrugs and to identify new biomarkers for patient selection. This will pave the way for initiation of further preclinical and clinical development,” said dr. Nele Kindt, CEO at CoBioRes.
About Tetra-prodrugs technology
Use of traditional chemotherapeutic drugs is restricted by severe side effects and lack of tumour specificity. CoBioRes has designed a tumour-specific activation system by chemically linking a cap and a specific oligopeptide to a chemotherapeutic drug, rendering the modified drug inactive and blocking systemic toxic side effects of the drug. The chemotherapeutic prodrugs are activated by selective proteases available in the tumour microenvironment. This leads to a precise control of drug activation and release, circumventing distribution of native active drugs in other tissues. This finally leads to a combination of selective efficacy and reduced systemic toxicity, resulting in an improved therapeutic index.