Combinations of asenapine as an anti-cancer agent

  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

Researchers from the University of Burgos, the University of Barcelona and the Spin-off Nostrum Biodiscovery, have described the use in medicine of asenapine or the possible combinations of it with other anticancer agents, as well as pharmaceutical compositions and kits that contain them, in particular as anticancer agents.

Details of the Technology Offer

New and innovative aspects

Survivin is a therapeutic target for treating cancer. Asenapine is an atypical antipsychotic sold in the form of its maleate salt under the name SAPHRIS. The role of asenapine in the treatment of cancer could be related to its ability to inhibit survivin. The main established functions of survivin are the regulation of cellular mitosis and the inhibition of apoptosis. No experimental data have been found to support the use of asenapine against cancer.

Researchers from the UBU, UB and Nostrum have found that asenapine can be used effectively in the treatment of cancer as it is not only capable of showing moderate carcinogenic activity against various cancer cell lines in vitro, but it has also shown antitumor effects in vivo.

Main advantages of its use

The inhibitory action of survivin exerted by asenapine would allow:

  • induce apoptosis in tumor cells
  • inhibit the cell cycle
  • sensitize tumor cells to standard chemotherapeutic agents or other anticancer agents, without being toxic to healthy cells.


In the tests, asenapine reduced cell viability in adenocarcinoma of the lung (A549) and colon (SW620), and it was not cytotoxic for healthy cells. Asenapine also showed in vitro anticancer effects against pediatric neuroblastoma (LAN-1), pediatric sarcoma (RD), and glioblastoma (U87) in the same efficacy range as other chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin.


Due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), asenapine may be of particular interest in the treatment of brain tumors, including primary brain tumors or cancers with brain metastases. Its potential has also been observed in lung adenocarcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma, pediatric neuroblastoma, pediatric sarcoma, and glioblastoma.

Intellectual property status

Protected by patent EP21382721

Current development status

Laboratory tested procedure.

Desired business relationship

Commercial Agreement, License Agreement, Technical Cooperation: further development; Technical Cooperation: testing new applications; Technical Cooperation: adaptation to specific needs.

Intellectual property status

Attached documents

Related Keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • Genetic Engineering / Molecular Biology
  • Medical Health related
  • Other
  • cancer
  • tumor
  • sarcoma
  • glioblastoma
  • cancer cells
  • asenapine
  • survivin
  • anticancer agents
  • cell mitosis
  • apoptosis inhibition
  • adenocarcinoma
  • antitumor effects
  • neuroblastoma


The aim of the The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the Univesidad de Burgos is to promote Innovation technology through the reseach results transfer and the conexions between the University and the new needs and requirements of the society - we are the link between the University and the Industry. Contact person: José Manuel López (


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