Prostate Cancer Treatment

New prostate cancer treatment that targets prostate cancer cells that have an elevated level of homologous recombination (a DNA repair pathway).

Marketing Opportunity
Most of the currently available treatments have significant side effects associated with them so quality of life is a major consideration when making treatment decisions. There is a real need to find more targeted approaches to treatment with fewer side effects.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in men in the UK and second most common cancer in men in the world. According to a Frost & Sullivan report, in 2005 approximately 660,000 new patients were diagnosed worldwide with over 181,500 patients dying from the disease annually. The incidence is projected to grow at an annual growth rate of about 4% over the next 4 years.

The Oxford Invention
Researchers at Oxford have found that prostate cancer cells have elevated levels of homologous recombination and a high dependence on this DNA repair pathway. Knocking out or inhibiting this DNA repair pathway leads to increased death of these cells. The present invention is built on the concept of synthetic lethality (see illustration) and the same research team pioneered this area showing that PARP inhibitors selectively kill BRCA2 defective breast cancers, which is now in phase II clinical trials (Bryant el al 2005 Nature 434, 913-7).

Research is ongoing to identify compounds that target this DNA repair pathway.

Patent Status
The Oxford invention is the subject of a published International patent application number WO2008/129239. Isis would like to talk to companies interested in developing this commercial opportunity. Please contact the Isis Project Manager to discuss this further.

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Type of Offer: Licensing

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