The aggressiveness of cancer therapy and expectations for survival are closely associated with metastatic potential of the primary tumor. New therapies to limit the migration of cancer cells to distant metastatic sites are needed, especially in patients where metastasis is likely and 10-yr. survival rates are low. Agenta’s proposed project will test a strategy to interfere with one of the important cancer cell molecules, called HSPG, which is involved in cell migration and metastasis. The strategy has historical validation because it is known from extensive clinical data that repeated administration of biologic drugs that are very similar to HSPG can reduce tumor metastasis and increase survival dramatically by 44%. However, these biologics need to be injected daily to achieve this level of effectiveness. Our scientific team at Agenta Biotechnologies has engineered and validated a shortened version of the HSPG gene to interfere with the cancer cells bearing HSPG with the goal to help patients with a high potential for cancer metastasis. This gene delivery approach could provide sustained inhibition of the spread of cancer for a year or longer after a single delivery, if successful. The overall goal of this project is to curtail metastasis and prolong survival in patients diagnosed with aggressive tumor subtypes by providing a safe, tolerable, effective and very long-acting treatment option for delivery of an HSPG gene specifically designed to interfere with cancer cells displaying the related HSPG cancer cell marker.
Agenta's small rHSPG competitor
Agenta's small rHSPG competitor shown above will be expressed by various cells throughout the body to block invasion of the metastatic cells that migrate to and disseminate within the vasculature. The HSPG is designated as the yellow core with the red GAG chains. rHSPG stands for recombinant Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycan that Agenta has created.