Pharma & drug development

Peptomyc: the quest for a universal cancer treatment

Startup company Peptomyc is looking to develop a ‘universal cancer treatment’, which inhibits an oncoprotein called Myc that is integral to the mechanism of cancer cells. The company has described its strategy as ‘the opposite of personalised medicine’ – so could it work? Abi Millar reports.

These days, when we talk about emerging cancer therapies, we’re mostly talking about personalised or precision medicine. In contrast to the era of ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatments, today’s new crop of immunotherapy drugs are targeted at specific genetic changes. Two people with the same cancer might end up requiring very different drugs.

This fast-maturing field appears to hold great promise for cancer care. As more drugs hit the market, the benefits for patients are becoming apparent and survival rates are improving across multiple cancer types.

As a result, the concept of a ‘universal cancer treatment’ may seem far-fetched. However, a drug that could benefit all cancer patients – killing the cancer without harming the patient – is perhaps still the holy grail of oncology research.

For Barcelona-based startup Peptomyc, it is more than a pipe dream. The company’s therapy, Omomyc, has been successfully tested on mice and is on course to move into human trials next year.

Read the rest of this article in the May 2020 edition of Pharma Technology Focus

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