The Foundation Trinity™ Technology: Combining Anti-Cancer Therapies in a Single Agent for Targeted Delivery to Tumors
Cancer is a complex disease, and for therapies to be maximally effective and tolerable, they must distinguish between normal and cancerous cells. Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Corporation, through its subsidiary, Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Inc., is developing a patent-pending technology that combines anti-cancer therapies in a single agent to directly target cancerous tumors and avoid destroying normal cells. This type of agent is capable of greater potency, higher specificity, and lower toxicity than individual therapies that can also attack healthy cells.
APC features a natural human protein as a targeting agent to certain cancer cells. APC scientists have been able to modify the protein and increase its activity, so that it exhibits demonstrable anti-cancer activity in animals and confers antitumor immunity by virtue of its binding to tumor cells. The ability to bring the immune system into play and launch an immune response against tumors is an important attribute that, in and of itself, provides a compelling rationale for development of such agents.
The potential of combination therapies building on APC’s protein modifications adds an additional, powerful dimension to our technology. Combination therapies have been employed to counter the multiple mechanisms that tumors use to evade the immune response and resist the efficacious effects of therapeutics. The classical approach is to combine several individual drugs, while tolerating each of their associated toxicities and complex combinations of physical and chemical interactions.
At APC we are exploiting combinations in two distinct ways that represent a more benign approach to therapy. First, we our developing technology to combine anti-cancer therapies, including immunotherapy, in a single agent to directly target cancerous tumors. Second, based on considerations of tumor biology and immune mechanisms, we are engaged in the rational design of combinatorial strategies that seek to balance activating and immunosuppressive mechanisms. By combining our signature agents with other immunotherapeutics, such as checkpoint inhibitors, we hope to achieve greater overall response rates and durable responses in patients than are currently observed in the clinic.
Advanced Proteome has embarked upon a program that has made the targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs to tumor cells its current focus. We have been utilizing a protein that has a homing instinct for breast and ovarian cancer cells as a specific delivery system for various anti-cancer drugs. Based on literature precedents, the protein delivery system can exploit as least four mechanisms of action to treat various cancers. Our anti-cancer program uses proprietary technology to attach multiple entities to the delivery protein, combining their respective anti-cancer properties in a single tumor-targeted agent. Our technology is therefore well-suited to the challenges inherent in developing combination therapy.
Therapies that utilize drug conjugates and are targeted to specific cancer cells are expected to be far more specific, potent, and less toxic, than classical methods utilizing simple chemotherapeutics that also attack healthy cells. Such targeted therapies are intended to home in on cancer cells primarily, avoid the nasty side effects of classical chemotherapeutics, and are expected to ultimately dominate the markets for anti-cancer therapeutics.
What We Do
APC is engaged in the development of anti-cancer therapeutics that exploit the properties of a natural human protein. This parent protein, by virtue of binding to specific cancer cells, is capable of conferring only modest anti-tumor immunity in animal studies. APC has been able to modify the protein using chemical methods as well as recombinant DNA technology. Our technologies have produced modified versions of the parent which have proven to be more powerful anti-cancer agents with higher affinities for the target cancer cells and tumors. To overcome the limitations of current therapies, we are applying the proprietary technology to develop more effective, more specific and thus less toxic, substances.
To discriminate between particular cancer cells and normal cells, we have developed a broad platform that advances both cancer cell targeting and cancer immunotherapy. The platform features two critical attributes of the protein: its affinity for specific cancer cells, as well as its ability to confer antitumor immunity, by virtue of its binding to such cancer cells. Thus, on the one hand, targeted delivery is a consequence of the homing instinct of the protein component for cancer cell surfaces; on the other, immunotherapy derives from the ability of the protein, upon binding to the cell surface, to elicit a desired immune response. These agents can be further modified to carry additional biological functions and can be likened to "guided missiles with multiple warheads", because a single, targeted agent carrying multiple therapies is aimed at tumor cells. Given the extraordinary potential and opportunities in the field of combination cancer immunotherapy, the thrust of our current efforts is to combine our immunotherapeutic agents with other immunotherapeutics, such as checkpoint inhibitors, to achieve greater overall response rates and durable responses in patients than are currently observed in the clinic.
Cancer-based science is undergoing a period of revolutionary change. Until recently, cancer therapeutics were dominated by chemotherapeutics that were destructive of healthy cells as well as cancer cells. In many instances, such chemotherapeutic agents were neither well-tolerated by patients nor did they result in durable and effective treatments. A rapidly growing understanding of the biology of cancer has uncovered features of cancer cells that distinguish them from healthy cells. By exploiting such distinguishing features, therapeutics can be targeted specifically to cancer cells and have made treatments more tumor-specific, more effective, and less toxic to patients.
APC utilizes a human protein as a targeting agent which confers anti-tumor immunity by virtue of its binding to certain cancer cells. The protein has an attraction for a distinctive feature on the surface of cancer cells that is not present on the surface of normal, healthy cells. Our proprietary technologies enable the site-specific attachment of various entities that can be used to endow the protein immunotherapeutic with additional functions to combat cancer. Such advanced, targeted therapies are intended to attack primarily cancer cells and are expected to broadly impact the anti-cancer therapeutics market in the near future.
The immune system has evolved to determine which cells are friendly, and which cells should be destroyed. It is poised to seek out and mount an immune response to destroy cancerous cells that form in the body. However, sometimes cancerous cells can undergo changes and evade the immune response and grow and proliferate. As opposed to targeting cancer cells directly with potentially toxic drugs, immunotherapy is concerned with stimulating the immune system to more effectively unleash the body’s natural defenses against the presence of cancerous cells. One approach involves “checkpoint inhibitors” which are designed to remove “the foot from the immunological brakes” to prevent cancer cells from evading destruction by the immune system. This approach has achieved some spectacular successes in clearing cancer cells and instilling memory for drug-free durable responses in a growing number of patients.
The industry is in hot pursuit to fully realize the promise of immunotherapy, and the numerous opportunities for improvements and expansion of the therapy to diverse cancer types. In this context, APC is developing a ”one-two punch” advanced technology that utilizes a protein, not only capable of conferring antitumor immunity by eliciting an immune response, but which also has the capacity to specifically target cancer cells directly for their destruction.
Despite the potential for activating the immune system to more aggressively attack cancerous cells, to date clinical benefits have been limited to subsets of patients and only certain tumor types. Based on our present understanding of mechanisms of antitumor response as well as compensatory resistance mechanisms, immunotherapies are likely to offer more benefit to the patient by being administered in combination with other forms of cancer management. For example, there are strong biological rationales to combine checkpoint inhibitors with other therapies to extend therapeutic benefits to a broader population of patients with a variety of tumors.
At APC we are exploiting combinations in two distinct ways. First, we are developing technology that combines anti-cancer therapies, including immunotherapy, in a single agent to directly target cancer tumors. Second, based on considerations of tumor biology and immune mechanisms, we are engaged in the rational design of combinatorial strategies. By combining our signature agents with other immunotherapeutics, such as checkpoint inhibitors, we hope to achieve greater overall response rates and durable responses in patients than are currently observed in the clinic.
Who We Are
Dr. Allen (Alexander) Krantz
President, CEO, Director and Founder
Allen Krantz has had an extensive career in academia and industry. From 1968 to 1980, he was a member of the Faculty of Chemistry at Stony Brook University, holding appointments in both the Department of Chemistry, and the Department of Pharmacological Sciences in the University’s Medical School. From 1981 to 1994, Dr. Krantz was Director, and then Vice-President of Research at Syntex Research Canada and held Adjunct Professorships during this period at the Universities of Toronto and Guelph while holding the title of Distinguished Scientist at the Corporation... From 1994 to 1997, Dr. Krantz served as Executive Vice President of Research at RedCell, Inc., the forerunner of ConjuChem, (TSX: CJC), and served as the Directeur Scientifique of the European office in France during the same period. Dr. Krantz was responsible for transforming the company's program to a practical focal point on human serum albumin as a carrier of drugs. He is also a Founder, and served as the inaugural President of Pharmena North America Incorporated, a privately held, biotechnology company. Dr. Krantz obtained his Masters of Science and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.
Kenneth C. Phillippe, B. Comm, CA
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Phillippe is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience working with public companies in the capacities of director, officer, financial advisor or consultant. Mr. Phillippe obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia in 1976. He articled with Thorne Riddell (now KPMG) and in1982 established his own accounting practice. During the period from February, 2000 to 2008, Mr. Phillippe held several high level Executive positions including director, officer, and chair of the audit committee of Urodynamix Technologies Ltd. (TSX – (URO.V))., CFO of Columbia Goldfields Ltd. (TSX - (GOL.TO) / OTCBB –(CGDF)), as Secretary, Treasurer, CFO and Principal Accounting Officer of Amazon Goldsands Ltd.(OTCBB – (AZNG)), as well as Constitution Mining Corp (OTCC - (CMIN)). Since 2006, Mr. Phillippe has served as Chief Financial Officer of Exchequer Resource Corp. (TSX/NEX – (EXQ.H)) as well as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of Bold Ventures Inc. (TSX – (BOL.V)).
Dr. Randal Chase
Dr. Chase has more than 40 years of experience in biotechnology and related fields. Randal began his career at Bristol Meyers and Glaxo Canada Inc., where he held the positions of Director and Senior Vice President, respectively. He is a former President of several companies, including Quadra Logic Technologies, Inc., North American Vaccine and Aventis Pasteur Canada. As well, Dr. Chase has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of ImmunoVaccine Technologies Inc. from 2006 to 2011. From 2005 to 2006, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Molecular Templates Inc. From 2001 to 2004, Dr. Chase was President of Shire Biologics Inc and from May 2001 to August 2002, he served as Senior Vice-President, Vaccines Operations of Biochem Pharma Inc. Among his numerous appointments, Dr. Chase has been a member of the board of Biotech Canada, and has served as a Director of Bioject Medical Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ), Acambis PLC (London Stock Exchange, NASDAQ), and of Conjuchem Inc. and of Conjuchem Biotechnologies Inc. (TSX). Most recently, Dr. Chase was Chairman of the Board and Director of Medicago. He currently serves as Chairman of MediMabs, a privately held company, and is a member of the Board of Geovax Labs, Inc., a vaccine company trading on the OTCQX.
Dr. Gary Hayes
Dr. Hayes graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1978. He has 27 years in clinical Family Practice, and has been a medical advisor to numerous companies and sports teams that utilize his extensive knowledge of therapeutics. Dr Hayes has also been active as a Director of several publicly traded companies.
Jean Bellin has more than 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He began his career with 12 years at Eli Lilly & Company, holding positions in sales, marketing and general management in Brazil, the US, the Scandinavian countries and Italy. He then founded and served as Managing Director of DuPont Pharma Italy. In 1993, Mr. Bellin became the head of the international division of UCB, a $2 billion publicly traded, biopharmaceutical group based in Brussels, Belgium, where he managed the pharmaceutical subsidiaries in the US, Canada, South America, Japan, China and Southeast Asia. Later he managed the osteohealth and animal health divisions of Sankyo Pharmaceuticals Company Ltd., then the second largest pharmaceutical company in Japan, and served as CEO of Mountain View Pharmaceuticals Inc., a California-based biopharmaceutical company, and then President of Metagenics, a leading manufacturer and distributor of medical foods and nutraceuticals. Mr Bellin is currently President of Cyrex Laboratories. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economic, Political and Social Sciences from the Universitaires Saint Louis in Brussels and a license in applied economic sciences from the Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.