Therapeutic protein developed by Barcelona hospital halts metastatic breast cancer
Vall d’Hebron study challenges notion that MYC gene inhibition could lead to tumor growth
Researchers at Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and biotech company Peptomyc have developed a therapeutic protein, Omomyc, that is believed to halt metastatic breast cancer.
It is well known in the scientific community that the MYC gene is "implicated in almost all human cancers, and while its role as a promoter of tumorigenesis is beyond doubt, its function in the process of metastasis remains controversial," a press release by VHIO reads.
Over 20 years ago, Laura Soucek, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peptomyc, and a Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) Research Professor, began to focus her research on the MYC gene. From that work, she developed Omomyc, a small protein capable of inhibiting the gene that first began to be tested on patients inMay 2021 after several pre-clinical trials.
MYC inhibitor Omomyc had previously shown potent anti-tumor activity "in multiple cancer cell lines and mouse models, regardless of their tissue of origin or driver mutations," Peptomyc announced.
"We have now demonstrated that MYC inhibition by Omomyc exerts a dramatic effect on the metastatic process, from tumor growth, invasion to seeding. Findings evidenced a striking reduction in both primary tumor and metastatic growth. In some cases, metastases were even eradicated," said Daniel Massó-Vallés, first author of the study and a Postdoctoral Researcher and Project Manager at Peptomyc.
“Considering the results of our previous studies that have clearly demonstrated Omomyc’s efficacy in primary tumors, we hypothesized that targeting MYC could also be efficacious against metastatic breast cancer,” Laura Soucek said.
The findings have been published in Cancer Research Communications, an American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) journal.