Killing tumor cells with a receptor-targeted bacterial toxin
Novel anti-cancer ADC platform
Identification of new technologies to facilitate the development of next-generation cancer therapeutics remains a major goal of biomedical research. Development of antibody drug conjugates as new targeted therapeutics has emerged as an attractive strategy for cancer treatment in recent years.
One current focus of cancer therapeutics is specific targeting of cancer cells with natural cytocidal toxins that can penetrate the cell and affect it from inside the cytosol.
This technology has direct application to treating breast cancer, especially the subset that over-expresses HER2. In addition, fusing the toxin with antibodies to other cancer cell-expressed proteins could result in new methods of cancer treatment.
Innovations and Advantages
This technology comes from the lab of Prof. John Collier, a world renowned leader in Anthrax research. Scientists at the Collier lab developed an antibody targeted conjugate platform -composed of the receptor-binding domain of the Anthrax toxin fused with a particular receptor that is present only on the cancer cell.
Proof of concept was carried out in breast cancer cells by directing the pore forming anthrax toxin to kill HER2-expressing cells, but this same system can be engineered to target other cancer receptors with great efficacy. It provides a straightforward way of redirecting the receptor specificity of the anthrax toxin, utilizing its high affinity, high penetrance rate and receptor specificity.
-it is important to mention that Anthrax toxin is more useful than other toxins in creating a natural ADC, as it is composed of three nontoxic proteins that are only toxic when mixed. As a result, the constituent proteins can be experimented upon in low-level safety conditions.
A provisional patent application for this technology has been filed. This technology is available for worldwide, exclusive licensing and/or a collaborative research program with the Collier laboratory.
Collier, R. John
McCluskey, Andrew J.
For further information, please contact:
Michal Preminger, Director of Business Development
Reference Harvard Case #4415