Researchers at Phylogica, located in Perth, Australian developed a new drug to fight cancer from the inside, by placing the active medication inside cells.
This approach takes a novel approach compared to traditional methods which reach only a tiny number of targeted cells.
Phylogica controls a library of billions of peptides, and uses the library to select those peptides that can be linked to drugs, serving as a key to unlock the cell’s outer protection to get inside.
“We’re about trying to take this new generation of smart drugs that they (big pharmaceutical firms) have been developing and deliver them much more efficiently inside the cells so they can access their targets,” Phylogica chief executive Richard Hopkins says.
With this technology, targets MYC, a protein that turns on genes that cause cancer and present in more than 50 per cent of all cancers.
“We have established potencies or activities against MYC that are unprecedented,” Dr Hopkins says.
“We are now embarking on a very aggressive transition from being perceived as a platform technology to applying that to very specific areas of need, specifically focused on cancer, around these high-value targets that no-one else has been able to touch before and which stretch across just about every type of cancer.”
Phylogica is seeking partners to help it expedite the path to a clinical trial.
Dr Hopkins says validating the company’s technology in animal trials will give Phylogica commercial traction.
“We’re sort of pulling together the pieces, and I think this is something we’ll articulate to the market over the coming weeks and months,” he says.
Phylogica is also taking to interested parties about “internationalizing” the company.
Last year Phylogica received an upfront payment of $500,000 and is eligible to receive discovery, development, and commercialization milestone payments totaling up to $142 million.