One of the fundamental challenges in cancer treatment is cancer resistance and relapse. A reason for this acquired resistance may be the presence of small minority of cells in the tumor called cancer stem cells (CSC). Most current anti-cancer chemotherapeutics primarily target either differentiated or proliferating cancer cells, and concretively, will not be effective against CSCs. Unlike most cells within the tumor, and after treatment, they can regenerate all the cell type in the tumor through their stem cell-like behavior. For this reason, innovative treatment which could tackle CSCs offer great promise for cancer treatment and prevention of relapse in cancer patients.
Our strategy is to improve cancer treatment by discovering and developing of new agents acting against CSCs like such as GNS396 and GNS561 which can be combined with the existing chemotherapy drugs in order to rise the remission time and reduce the relapse frequency in cancer patients.
Cancer stem cells were initially discovered in leukemia and then in breast cancer, but these cells have been also identified in many other types of tumors, such as cancer of colon, liver and skin. Our drugs target cancer stem cell and have the potential to be developed against a range of tumor types.
Approach and Technology: Genoscience Pharma has developed a discovery platform to identify novel small molecules that target and kill CSCs. Genoscience identified new drugs GNS396 and analogues as compound that kills both cancer cells and CSCs. Two lead compounds were identified: GNS396 to treat Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and GNS561 to treat Hepatocarcinoma.