Chemical Extracted From Poisonous Plant Could Lead To Novel Prostate Cancer Treatment

Chemical Extracted From Poisonous Plant Could Lead To Novel Prostate Cancer Treatment

GenSpera, Inc. recently announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued the company United States Patent Number 8,957,016. This patent represents an expansion of the firm’s intellectual property portfolio claiming multiple compositions for GenSpera’s pro-drugs thought to be activated by Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), which can translate into major advances in the treatment against prostate cancer.

GenSpera is currently developing several pro-drugs that bind to specific peptides with a very powerful cytotoxin that is isolated from Thapsia garganica, a poisonous plant. However, while the plant itself is poisonous, GenSpera believes that extraction of cytotoxin from the plant species can in fact significantly benefit prostate cancer patients. This prostate-specific antigen-targeting agent approach based on the cytotoxin extracted from Thapsia garganica intends to minimize side effects that are frequently observed with other therapies and, at the same time, maximize activity against tumors.

This recent patent is related to GenSpera’s platform technology that targets the activation of biologically active materials to cells capable of producing PSA and to a peptide that can not only be recognized but also removed by PSA to activate therapeutic pro-drugs. This patent will cover GenSpera’s series of these PSA targeted pro-drugs until 2026.

“We see significant potential for our investigational agents in prostate cancer. Prostate cancer treatments are currently dominated by hormonal agents and cytotoxic chemotherapies, all of which have significant side effects. This patent rounds out our portfolio, ensuring we are well-positioned to help bring new, innovative treatment options—with minimal side effects—to men fighting prostate cancer,” said Craig Dionne, GenSpera’s CEO.

Notes About GenSpera

GenSpera, Inc. is based at San Antonio and is a biotech company that unlocks conventional thinking to create and advance new cancer therapies. The company’s technology platform combines a plant-derived cytotoxin (thapsigargin), a strong substance, with an already patented pro-drug delivery system that provides a targeted release of drug candidates within tumors. Mipsagargin is GenSpera’s lead candidate and it has received an Orphan Drug designation by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013 to address patients with liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).

 

 

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Isaura Santos graduated with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a MA in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies from University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). Her professional interests include science communication, public awareness of science and communication of science through entertainment.
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