Developing the next wave of immunomodulating therapies for the immuno-oncology market
Over 90% of all cancer-related deaths are due to solid malignancies. Among them, pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates of 9%. Standard treatments for solid malignancies are based on chemotherapies and radiotherapies, which have proven to be ineffective. Overall, these treatments promote severe toxicity, weaken the immune system, and tumours rapidly develop resistance after the initial treatment. Immunotherapies are transforming conventional cancer treatments with significant improvement of patient survival rate from 11 to 40% increase across all cancer types compared to chemotherapies. The two leading technologies in the immuno-oncology space are immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) and CarT cell therapies. Both therapies have shown remarkable success in treating hematologic malignancies but a low response rate in patients with solid tumours.
CURATherapeutics’ immunotherapy platform treats a wide range of solid malignancies with a patented technology that harnesses cytokines to create multi-functional proteins with potent anti-cancer properties. “Our immunotherapy’s ability to reactivate the immune system’s response against cancer while disrupting the tumour’s blood supply sets us apart from the competition,” says Collin Horner, Co-founder of CURATherapeutics. “Currently, there are no treatments on the market that combine these properties in one single therapeutic.
CURATherapeutics proprietary technology is a fusion of two proteins derived from the immune system. The novel fusion protein gains new pharmacological properties, reactivates the immune system response against cancer by inducing robust T cells, N.K. cells and B cells activation and production of IFN from these cells. It further disrupts the tumour’s blood supply, which prevents tumour growth and spread.
CURATherapeutics continues to build their startup with the support of District 3’s healthcare stream, and as they grow, benefiting from access to Concordia University’s state-of-the-art BioHub–a wet and dry lab that has all the resources needed to do research and develop their technology, while being immersed in the vibrant biotech community.
Alongside District 3’s coaching, startup programs and community, the CURATherapeutics team benefits from the accelerator’s partnership with Canada’s Global Life Sciences adMare BioInnovation, which Horner calls a “game-changer.”
“One of the biggest hurdles as a biotech startup is equipping and operating a lab. The cost of buying the equipment needed to run a therapeutics lab puts most projects out of reach for early-stage biotech companies. Having a turnkey solution and working in a fully functional therapeutics facility with access to tissue culture rooms, flow cytometry, and animal facilities allows us to direct our capital towards R&D and reduce our capital expenditures on equipment. The byproduct of this result enables our company to accelerate our preclinical development, increase our runway and expand our team,” asserts Horner.
“Having access to both material and intellectual resources is invaluable for early-stage biotech company success. These two significant ecosystems working together will continue to accelerate the advancement of the early-stage biotech development in our region and positively impact economic growth in Quebec and Canada for years to come!”