The biopharmaceutical Centrose has published an original review of newly discovered cell surface cancer targets and precision therapies titled “Extracellular Antibody Drug Conjugates Exploiting the Proximity of Two Proteins” in Molecular Therapy. The review outlines the biopharma’s technology, five new drug leads (EDCs) and their unique capacity to kill tumor cells.
James Prudent, Centrose co-founder and CEO, led the study group to demonstrate how the EDC drug platform is capable of reaching a new precision level by pursuing previously unknown targets and to show how this new class of drugs might provide safer alternative treatments to current highly toxic cancer therapies.
According to the research team, their most key finding is the method used by EDCs to destroy cancer – a directed and fully extracellular ion channel blocking. Disturbing ion flow (or salt balance) is the best way of killing cells as it leads to necrosis, a natural form of cell death that activates the immune system though released danger signals. In addition, researchers prefer drugs that do not require internalization, since cancers have been known to become resistant to these types of medications.
A series of precision EDC medicines is now being translated by Centrose from bench to bedside. The most advanced are EDC1 and EDC9 – the latter of which incorporates the antibody Rituximab and will be the first to reach the clinic.
Rituximab is the gold standard for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), but many patients develop a resistance to the drug over time. Since EDC9 uses a novel mechanism of cell death, the researchers believe the investigational therapy may replace the need for chemotherapy in the future as well as overcoming many forms of resistance, if used in combination with Rituximab.
“This has been a huge project for all of us and we are very happy to finally share the results with the scientific community,” David Marshall, lead author of the review, said in a press release.
Below is a video released by Centrose to explain how their EDC technology works.