Amcure’s candidate for highly metastatic epithelial cancers is about to start clinical trials. The compound can shut down three oncological pathways simultaneously through a single molecular target.
Amcure is a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, established in 2012. The company develops treatments for highly metastatic forms of cancer using peptide-based compounds targeting angiogenesis. It has just announced the start of PhaseI/Ib trials to test its leading candidate, AMC303, in patients with advanced metastatic epithelial cancers, such as pancreatic, head and neck, colorectal and lung cancer.
AMC303 is a short v6 peptide that targets CD44v6, a co-receptor involved in angiogenesis signaling via tyrosine kinase pathways. What makes this approach better than its predecessors is that the molecule is involved in three oncological pathways relevant for metastasis. The flip side to this multi-pronged effect, of course, is that the therapy is not very specific; indeed, this is a general problem with peptides in medicine.
The treatment will be aimed at patients for whom standard treatments have failed.