New Therapies in Oncology
Cancer is the second largest cause of death in the world. Based on World Health Organization data, it is estimated that in 2030 there will be over 21 million new cancer patients, and 17 million people will die from cancer. One of the key priorities of modern medicine is the discovery of new, more efficacious and safe cancer therapies which would inhibit disease progression and extend the life of patients. The increasingly broader knowledge of oncogenesis mechanisms results in the development of therapies directed against specific molecular targets, which allows for continued exploration of targeted therapies, and in consequence also personalised therapies.
In order to meet the needs of patients, Celon Pharma focuses on the development of innovative targeted therapies which are effective, safe, tolerated better and widely accessible to all patients suffering from cancer.
Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR) belong to a family of receptor tyrosine kinases which are involved in signal transduction associated with malignant cell proliferation, tumour progression and angiogenesis. More and more data indicate that cancers are associated with an FGFR-dependent aberrant signalling pathway; they are the result of mutation, amplification or overexpression of FGFR genes. Therapies directed against FGFR proteins constitute an attractive cancer therapy for patients with FGFR-dependent cancer, including cancers of the bladder, stomach, endometrium or lungs.
Protein degradation pathway inhibitors
The UPS pathway (ubiquitin proteasome system) is responsible for degradation of proteins in the cell. This pathway malfunctions in many cancer cells, therefore UPS inhibitors can constitute a new therapy used in i.a. cancer of the colon, prostate, lung, breast, in multiple myeloma, B-cell lymphomas, AML. The previously developed therapies, i.a. bortezomib – a proteasome inhibitor, are administered intravenously and are associated with significant adverse effects. Developing a safe, orally-administered inhibitor of protein degradation pathway will constitute a new treatment option for patients with both solid tumours and haematological cancers.
MER tyrosine kinase regulates intracellular signalling pathways and the expression of genes associated with cell survival and migration, phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, or reorganisation of the cytoskeleton. MER is overexpressed in many cancers, in both acute leukemia and in solid tumours. Inhibition of MER may have a twofold anticancer effect: on the one hand, in combination with the previously used therapies it can lead to apoptosis of cells, on the other hand it can stimulate an anticancer immune response.