Diversified pharmaceutical company
New Ways to Fight Cancer
To date, Rafarma Pharmaceuticals develops new liposome-based medicine for targeted therapy for colon, pancreas and breast cancer treatment. An extremely promising medicine for the pharmaceutical industry is liposomes carrying a lipophilic prodrug of a widely used antitumor agent merphalan and equipped with tetrasaccharide Sialyl LewisX (SiaLeX).
The use of liposomes as an antitumor agent carrier has been discussed for a long time. It is known that liposomes reduce the toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents due to specific biodistribution between tissues and organs. At the same time, ensuring target delivery has always been challenging because tumor cells are well protected from blood flow drugs by the vascular and interstitial barrier.
Targeted therapy aimed at interacting with specific tumor receptors significantly limits the range of use of such drugs due to the presence of intratumoral heterogeneity: as the tumor progresses, many clones of cells are formed that do not express specific receptors and, therefore, are resistant to therapy.
Cytotoxic vector liposomes preclude this outcome. The carbohydrate ligand SiaLeX can recognize selectins present on the endothelium of tumor-feeding vessels, as well as lectins located on cancer cells. This feature determines the long-term prospects of SiaLeX for the therapy of oncological diseases.
Rafarma Pharmaceuticals sees considerable potential in liposome-based medicine development for targeted therapy. To date, the company has already developed a production scheme and has begun preclinical trials.