by Sudha Bhat on  April 9, 2015 at 5:26 PM Health In Focus
Phylogica Peptide Fusion Kills Aggressive Breast Cancer Cells
Phylogica is one of the leading peptide drug discovery companies, whose libraries contain billions of unique peptides known as Phylomer peptides; they represent a rich source of biologically active drug leads. These peptides are known to have exceptional structural stability, specificity and affinity, thereby giving them the potential to address disease targets.

In a pilot study, it was proven that certain peptides which are associated with the Omomyc drug, kills drug-resistant and aggressive breast cancer cells. The principal scientist is Dr. Pilar Blancafort, one of Australia's leading breast cancer experts, associate professor at The University of Western Australia, and a member of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. She commented that the results of the study show that the company's Cell-Penetrating Peptide (CPP) fusion improves efficacy of existing anticancer drugs.

Dr. Blancafort said that the study also revealed that Phylogica's CPP fusion improved the efficacy of existing anticancer drugs to a great extent, including the antibody, Cetuximab and the chemotherapy agent, Docetaxel. She further stated that a combination of Cetuximab and a Phylomer CPP-Omomyc fusion was more than three times more effective at killing drug-resistant breast cancer cells as compared to any of these agents alone.

 "The ability to combine drugs to treat breast cancer is particularly exciting as it has the potential to lower the likelihood of resistance, improve drug activity and reduce chemotherapy side-effects," she explained.

Dr. Blancafort also tested the activity of Phylogica's CPP fusion in an in-vivo breast cancer model and found that there was a substantial reduction in tumor size. However, she was of the opinion that this pilot study needs to be repeated using larger groups to confirm its significance.

Dr. Paul Watt, the Chief Scientific Officer of Phylogica, said, "We were not expecting such a striking result from the pilot study. We believe this is the first time anyone has shown a CPP-Omomyc fusion protein to be active in vivo, as to our knowledge Omomyc has only previously been successfully delivered to tumors using a complex 'gene therapy' approach, associated with significant regulatory hurdles to clinical application."

Most Popular on Medindia