Antibody-mediated delivery of therapeutic compounds to tumor cells for the treatment of cancer is a rapidly growing multibillion-euro market. One class of tumor markers, the glycosphingolipids (GSLs), are only rarely addressed in this context, due to the difficulty of obtaining antibodies against them. In this proof-of-concept program, we will develop a novel class of products — lectibodies — for the delivery of therapeutic compounds to tumor-specific GSLs. Our lectibodies are based on a naturally occurring GSL-binding protein with intrinsic tumor targeting capacity. We will rely on a proprietary phage library technology to isolate lectibodies against GSLs (or cocktails thereof). In this PoC program we will optimize and apply our technology to specifically target O-acetyl GD2, a GSL highly expressed in neuroblastoma tissues. This will enable us to generate lectibody-based therapeutics against neuroblastoma in children, a devastating disease for which the drug market is predicted to reach 118€ million in 2022. We will explore two options for further business development: a) building off of our current partnership with OGD2 Pharma (a biotech based n Nantes, France) and b)creation of a spin-off company which will license deals to several pharmaceutical partners based on pathology. We will capitalize on the expertise in launching start-ups of our principle investigator and on close links with clinicians and industry partners. Our technology has truly groundbreaking potential as, in principle, chimeric lectibodies can be developed against virtually any tumor-specific cocktail of GSLs thus opening the door for the development of novel therapies for several cancers. Thus, following the development of neuroblastoma-specific lectibodies, we foresee a wider range of future applications for our technology.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.1 - European Research Council (ERC) Main Programme