iNtRON Biotechnology has announced that it has demonstrated the effectiveness of P18-BE3CRC using a cancer organoid model.
P18-BE3CRC is a drug candidate from iNtRON Biotechnology’s PHAGERIA platform technology, which is for the development and commercialization of bacteriophage-based drugs (Phageome API) for cancer control.
Bacteriophages have been used for R&D on bacterial infectious diseases, but recently the scope of application of bacteriophages has been expanded to the anti-cancer field by the company.
The first target cancer type being targeted by the PHAGERIA technology is colorectal cancer (CRC).
Globally, CRC is mainly prevalent in people in their 50s and older. In Korea, 89.3% of CRC patients are in their 50s or older, and the number of CRC patients for both genders has been increasing every year.
Recently, attention has been drawn to the possibility that a microbiome in the colon can be a major cause of colorectal cancer. This has led to research into the microbiome associated with colorectal cancer. The reason for this interest is the expectation that effective control of the microbiome in the colon may not only prevent cancer, but also prevent relapse or metastasis after surgery.
iNtRON Biotechnology first-in-concept drugs
Among the various microbiomes, iNtRON Biotechnology is paying attention to enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) and pks+E. coli, which secrete toxins such as Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT) and colibactin, respectively. iNtRON Biotechnology is working to develop first-in-concept drugs to control the microbiome through the phageome.
iNtRON Biotechnology said that the microbiome is closely related to the onset and progression of colorectal cancer.
To verify the cancer control effect of the PHAGERIA candidate, a culture method for organoids derived from healthy human colon tissue was established, and induced tumorigenesis by treating them with ETBF and pks+ E. coli. The company said it confirmed that administering the PHAGERIA candidate significantly inhibited tumorigenesis. Thus, if the microbiome that causes cancer can be maintained in a low level in the body, it may be possible to prevent the recurrence or metastasis of cancer, increasing the utility of PHAGERIA (phageome) as a new cancer-controlling mechanism.
Son Ji-soo, head of the BD Department of iNtRON Biotechnology said: “We are continuously improving the PHAGERIA candidate material and related platform technologies by using reverse/forward genetic engineering techniques to improve the performance and effectiveness.”
Yoon Kyung-won, CEO of iNtRON Biotechnology said: “We will accelerate follow-up research and development through partnerships with global companies. We are planning to develop a new Phageome drug through PHAGERIA platform technology which will be an oral capsule for easy intake, and we will speed up the development by collaborating with global partners.”