TUBE Pharmaceuticals GmbH in Vienna, Austria, has developed cytotoxic molecules that are derived from a class of natural products called “Tubulysins”. The name points towards its mechanism-of-action, namely acting on the tubulin network of human cells. While another natural product class, Taxols, has yielded well known drugs used in cancer therapy stabilize the tubulin network, tubulysins dissolve this network leading to cell death. Different to taxol, cells are not developing resistancies against tubulysins, with a promise for a better, more sustainable therapy.
Tubulysins are currently hot compounds for creating targeted cancer therapies via antibody-drug-conjugates (ADC), MolGenie believes it could make better molecules by creating peptide-drug-conjugates (PDC). One first example of such PDC, a NPY1R peptide-tubulysin conjugate has already shown promising results in vitro and in vivo against Ewing sarcoma and NPY1R overexpressing breat cancer cells and patient derived animal models.
Both MolGenie and TUBE Pharmaceuticals have now agreed to leverage the potential of this novel concept of PDC to advance its new drug candidates in a preclinical program aiming at developing new therapies for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) or Ewing sarcoma.