Connecticut Patent of the Month – February 2023
There are many types of cancer, each of which is classed as such because of the uncontrolled cell growth. Most research into cancer treatment focuses on stopping or mitigating this cell growth, terminating the uncontrolled replication of cells. This is often achieved using microtubule-targeting agents. This is because cell division requires the formation of an intact mitotic spindle. This spindle is made of microtubules which undergo random length changes. The microtubule targeting agents disrupt this random length change, suppressing further cell division. Complicated, right?
To make matters more complex, most leading microtubule-targeting agents are known to have side effects including toxic peripheral neuropathy. Cybrexa 3 Inc. (Cybrexa) is conducting research into the selected delivery of microtubule-targeting agents, such as maytansinoids. By targeting the delivery to diseased tissues, these side effects can be avoided while still effectively treating the cancerous cells.
Cybrexa’s technology uses peptide conjugates of the microtubule-targeting agents, like maytansinoid, to more selectively target diseased tissue. A peptide conjugate uses a peptide and a linker to target delivery to the matching linker in the diseased tissue. In some forms, the linker may be protected by additional compounds which are pH sensitive. Once the full compound reaches the diseased tissue and is exposed to a pH different from normal, healthy tissue, this additional compound is cleaved off and the linker is exposed, allowing the agent to target the diseased tissue and begin terminating cell reproduction. In this case, the agent cannot begin its action until in the pH environment that matches the diseased tissue.
Cybrexa’s work targets the tumor microenvironment, enabling antigen-independent targeting of tumors and metastases with deep tissue penetration for small molecule anti-cancer drugs. Their platform, Cybrexa alphalex, is a tumor targeting platform that powers new applications and combinations of existing cancer therapeutics.
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