Julio Raul Fernandez Masso – Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology | CIGB · Department of Pharmaceutical, PhD.
Synthetic therapeutic peptides are being intensively studied as next-generation drugs. These peptides are characterized by high purity, biocompatibility, selectivity, low toxicity and stereochemical control. The antitumor peptide CIGB-552 is a novel targeted anticancer therapy that reduces tumor size and increases the lifespan of tumor-bearing mice and dogs. Part of its anti-cancer effect is related to the induction of apoptosis and a decrease in the number and length of blood vessels that are needed for tumor survival. We found that the therapeutic formulation profoundly influences the aggregation properties of the peptide under study – increasing its biological activity.
The combination of the CIGB-552 peptide and the antitumor drug Cisplatin (CDDP) in the concomitant and preventive treatment of lung cancer cells in mice models shows an effective antitumor response without evidence of deterioration or side effects. This study is the first evidence of a synergistic effect of the combination of the antitumor peptides CIGB-552 and CDDP. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the simultaneous combination of both drugs in preclinical studies.
In a Phase I clinical trial 24 patients with advanced solid tumors received six subcutaneous administrations of CIGB-552. The treatment was safe and well-tolerated while exhibiting the appropriated pharmacokinetic profile in patients. CIGB-552 is appropriated to be tested in Phase II clinical studies either alone or combined with standard chemotherapy in patients with inflammation-associated cancer including Soft Sarcoma, Lung, GIST and Colorectal cancer.
Interview: Ivan Stepanyan