Delaware Patent of the Month – July 2021

Cancer cells have been proven to respond to low-oxygen tension by promoting the expression of genes associated with anaerobic metabolism, invasion and angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels). This gives cancer the ability to spread and co-opt new host vessels. The process is triggered by vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs). The industry has used methods to block VEGF signaling, and showed progress in limiting progression of the cancer. However, studies have shown that targeting VEGF-A is only temporarily effective – as the tumors become unresponsive over time. Still, other tumors have inherent resistance to the VEGF-A targeted therapies. Inis Biotech, LLC has developed a treatment that overcomes this limitation.

Their methods aim to control or mitigate angiogenesis in tumors that are refractory to these industry anti-VEGF treatments. In simple terms, their method works in this order:

  • Identify a cancer cell as being refractory to anti-VEGF
  • Contact the cancer cell with appropriate dose of treatment aent

The treatment agent modulates interactions between Gal1 and also has a natural binding partner of Gal1. The treatment agent could be an antibody, nucleic acid, peptide, or protein. They found that hypoxia-promoting angiogenesis is an adaptive response to anti-VEGF treatment and Gal1 plays a key role in this adaptation. Their treatment targets Gal1, creating an anti-Gal1 human blocking monoclonal antibodies capable of eliminating the pro-angiogenic activity of this lectin, allowing the treatment to not only be successful, but prevent the cancer from adapting and becoming non-responsive.

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