Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Novel Combination Treatment Options for Solid Tumors: Replication-Competent Retroviral Vectors (RCRs) Target Hypoxic Tumor Areas and Increase Sensitivity to Chemotherapy

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

Novel combinatorial treatment options for solid tumors: Replication-competent retroviral vectors (RCRs) target hypoxic tumor areas and increase sensitivity to chemotherapy
Replication competent retroviral vectors (RCRs) target hypoxic tumor areas and increase sensitivity to chemotherapy
Novel Combinatorial Treatment Options for Metastatic Uveal Melanoma and Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Project ID : 6-2016-4274

Description of the technology

Category

LifeSciences and BioTechnology

Keywords

Oncology, Cancer, Solid tumors, Retroviral vector

Application

Solid tumors are known to continually form hypoxic microenvironments because the proliferating tumor cells grow faster than they can attract blood vessels towards them. In hypoxic microenvironments, where there is a lack of oxygen, there is no effector for radiotherapy, and there is a lack of sufficient concentrations of chemotherapeutics / biological agents. Tumor cells surviving in hypoxic areas have also been found to be more aggressive, and to be the ones responsible for metastatic spread. A therapeutic approach that specifically targets the response to hypoxia of dividing tumor cells can facilitate more effective treatment for patients with solid tumors. The solid tumor therapeutics market is expected to register a CAGR of 15% between 2019 and 2024, where a crucial driving factor is the increasing incidence of cancer.

Our Innovation

The use of armed retroviruses that propagate only in dividing cells to target transcription factors controlling the cellular response to hypoxia, thereby abrogating cellular response to hypoxia in specific tissues. The armed retroviruses will be used in combination with chemotherapy.

Technology

  • Knockdown of hypoxia-responsive transcription factors HIF-1 and CREB in hepatocellular carcinoma and uveal melanoma cell lines (as POC) using retroviruses which express shRNAs.
  • Marked effect on tumor cell viability in vitro.
  • In vivo POC for the effect of CREB and HIF-1 knockdown on tumor growth alone or in combination with chemotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma, uveal melanoma, and retinoblastoma.

Opportunity

The approach can be applied in multiple types of solid tumors in combination with chemotherapy, thereby reducing the dosing and producing a safer and more effective therapy for patients. Specifically, the project contains in vivo POC in hepatocellular carcinoma, uveal melanoma, and retinoblastoma. In the future, additional types of solid tumors will be tested.

Competitive Advantage

The advantage in the solution presented here is the use of replicative retroviruses that propagate only in proliferating cells and are active in hypoxic areas which are hardly accessible for chemotherapy/ biological agents and irradiation.

Project manager

Shani Bullock
VP, Business Development, Healthcare

Project researchers

Alik Honigman
HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Shahar Frenkel
,

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About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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