Therapeutics (Rx)

Our therapeutic drug discovery program is focused on the development of novel therapeutic product candidates that target the Mena protein isoform drug target. We are investigating therapeutic candidates for the potential to prevent or delay aggressive cancer from spreading and becoming resistant to other commonly used targeted and cytotoxic therapies. In targeting the movement of tumor cells from the primary site to distant sites we are directly addressing the major contributor to the deaths of cancer patients.

Elevated expression of MenaINV, a Mena protein isoform also drives resistance to certain Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK) inhibitors that target EGFR, HGFR, IGF-R1 and other receptors, and cytotoxic chemotherapeutics, including anti-microtubule agents docetaxel, paclitaxel and albumin-bound paclitaxel. We believe co-administration of an effective anti-Mena therapeutic agent provides an opportunity to expand the utility of these therapies and address a significant challenge to the clinical management of advanced cancers.

We are using multiple targeted approaches including: 

  • small molecules;
  • therapeutic peptides;
  • camelid nanobodies (VHH nanbodies), and;
  • monoclonal antibodies (Mabs).

We are evaluating these therapeutic candidates in our in vitro and in vivo metastatic models for efficacy in reversing Mena-dependent phenotypes of drug resistance, tumor cell invasion, dissemination, and metastasis. Our objective is to select suitable drug candidates to advance into human clinical studies.