Defence Therapeutics Inc., a Canadian biopharma company specializing in immune-oncology vaccines and drug delivery technologies, says it has discovered a novel DNA damaging function triggered by one of its lead compounds AccuTOX, which effectively elicits cell death in cancer cells.
Cancer can be generally described as a state of uncontrolled cell proliferation. This is mainly due to losses in the ability of a given cell to activate its own cell death via a specific set of proteins known to sense unusual activities. Although it is difficult to reactivate these specific pathways to elicit cancer cell death, Defence Therapeutics said AccuTOX can address this.
Defence previously reported the discovery of an Accum variant, AccuTOX, capable of controlling cancer growth when injected directly in tumors. The use of AccuTOX in combination with multiple immune-checkpoints results in a survival rate between 60% and 100%, based on pre-clinical tumor models studies in mice.
The mode of action of AccuTOX approached is a non-biased transcriptomic application and revealed that the compound impairs several crucial pathways including DNA replication, cell division, nuclear integrity, and multiple modifications affecting DNA activity.
The accumulation of exhaustive cell repair mechanisms triggered by AccuTOX, combined with the build-up of misfolded proteins and generation of free radicals, induces irreversible DNA damage, leading to a general collapse in several cellular pathways resulting in effective cancer cell death.
“Defence’s breakthrough discovery with its AccuTOX formulation as a novel potent small molecule capable of killing cancer cells is a significant advancement and development for oncology cancer treatment applications with Accum,” said Sebastien Plouffe, CEO of Defence Therapeutics.
“Discovering that AccuTOX can behave as a chemotherapeutic agent targeting the DNA of cancer cells and an immune-checkpoint inhibitor booster is a new discovery that is highly valuable to Defence’s pipeline and future potential developments. The AccuTOX presents a novel discovery as a platform for targeting multiple cancers. This novel discovery creates significant values and applications to our antibody drug conjugate (ADC) pipeline. Results are convincing that AccuTOX is the perfect potent small molecule to use in the development of our own ADC.”
Defence is currently conducting GLP studies on AccuTOX prior to initiate a phase I trial in North America.
Defence Therapeutics is a publicly-traded biotech company working on engineering next generation vaccines and ADC products using its proprietary platform.
The core of Defence Therapeutics’ platform is ACCUM technology, which enables precision delivery of vaccine antigens or ADCs in their intact form to target cells. As a result, increased efficacy and potency can be reached against catastrophic illness such as cancer and infectious diseases.