Boston, MA, May 6, 2015 - Soricimed Biopharma Inc. (SBI), a private clinical stage company developing novel cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, is presenting a poster entitled Validation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 6 channel (TRPV6) as a potential biomarker in ovarian cancers at PEGS, the essential protein engineering summit, today in Boston.
TRPV6, a membrane calcium channel, has been reported to be “over-expressed” in epithelial cancer types, such as breast, prostate, ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers, among others. Based on pre-clinical data, toxicology and efficacy studies that confirmed TRPV6 as a potential “drugable” target to treat epithelial cancers, Soricimed’s SOR-C13, the first peptide-based TRPV6 inhibitor, is currently in a Phase I clinical trial.
While TRPV6 is recognized as an “oncochannel” with the potential to be used as a biomarker in oncology, there are few comprehensive quantitative data available that show over-expression in cancer biopsies. The purpose of this poster is to share findings from a comprehensive assessment of ovarian cancer biopsies and confirm TRPV6 as a potential biomarker that can be used in smart targeted therapies.
In Soricimed’s lab, the mRNA expression of TRPV6 gene was assessed in 191 ovarian biopsies (26 normal and 165 malignant tissue samples) from 5 subtypes. As well, TRPV6 protein expression was assessed using immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays for 101 ovarian cancer and 23 normal biopsies. In the ovarian biopsies, TRPV6 gene expression elevation occurred across all ovarian tumor stages, grades, histopathological types and subtypes with the mean of all carcinomas 69-fold and adenocarcinomas 100-fold above normal tissue. Similarly, the immunohistochemistry results analysis, showed significantly higher ranking for cancer biopsies versus normal.
“These data clearly support TRPV6 as a novel and significant biomarker for TRPV6-targeted treatment modalities such as TRPV6 inhibitors, peptide drug conjugates (PDCs) and tumor imaging,” stated Dr. Dominique Dugourd, VP R&D, Soricimed Biopharma Inc. “To confirm smart drug delivery through TRPV6, we engineered a prototype PDC of a TRPV6-binding peptide derived from soricidin (SOR-27) conjugated with anti-cancer drug Paclitaxel and tested in mice xenografts of prostate cancer. It was exciting to find that the conjugate outperformed Paclitaxel alone, a mixture of Paclitaxel and peptide, and peptide alone in reducing tumor growth.”
These findings support further development of the SBI oncology portfolio based on the targeting of the oncochannel TRPV6 by soricidin derived peptides. The next soricidin-based PDC is scheduled to enter pre-clinical testing the fourth quarter of 2015.
Soricimed Biopharma Inc., a private Canadian clinical stage company developing novel cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, was created in 2005 by Professor Jack Stewart and Paul Gunn following the discovery and development of a proprietary peptide, soricidin. Soricidin derivatives are the basis for Soricimed Biopharma Inc.’s targeted cancer management program focused on cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. Using focused innovative strategies in collaboration with major world-class cancer research institutions, Soricimed’s drugs have demonstrated a capability to reduce cancer cell viability, induce apoptosis and to reduce human tumour volume while minimizing side-effects in various classic animal and in vitro tumour models. Privately held, Soricimed is funded through private investors and various programs from the Government of Canada. For more information please visit, www.soricimed.com.
Julie Fotheringham - Partner, Hageman Communications