Second leading cause of death
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally (~17% of all deaths). Thanks to new effective treatments and a better understanding of the disease biology, many patients can be cured or are at least expected to live longer compared to just a decade ago.
However, patients with metastatic cancers still have a poor prognosis and ninety percent of all cancer deaths are due to the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. There is therefore a great need for drugs that prevent or treat metastatic cancer.
Targeting transforming growth factor ß
TGFβ plays fundamental roles in cell growth and differentiation. TGFβ is also associated with a number of pathological processes such as cancer and fibrosis. In cancer cells, aberrant and upregulated TGFβ signaling is associated with tumor progression and the formation of metastases. TGFβ has been thoroughly studied and several drug development programs are ongoing primarily for cancer indications.
MetaCurUm Biotech’s antibody drug candidate targets an oncogenic TGFβ signaling pathway utilized by cancer cells to become invasive and to metastasize. Due to the unique mode of action, potential advantages compared to current treatment approaches could be fewer side effects leading to improved quality of life and overall survival.
Development of a new treatment option for patients with aggressive cancers
The patients that may benefit from the antibody treatment are primarily those with established metastatic cancers, or patients with risk of developing it. There is also a potential that patients that have developed resistance to existing therapy regimens may benefit from such novel treatment approach.
MetaCurUm Biotech’s treatment strategy aims to:
• Prevent metastasis of cancer cells by blocking an oncogenic TGFβ signaling pathway
• Extend the overall survival for patients with aggressive cancer by offering a more efficacious stand-alone or combination treatment
Companion biomarkers are also under development to facilitate patient selection and to monitor treatment effects.
About the company
MetaCurUm Biotech AB is a spin-off from the Department of Medical Biosciences at Umeå University, Sweden, based on unique discoveries made by Professor Maréne Landström and her collaborators.