Creating peptides with a unique three-dimensional shape allowed them to attach more readily to protein complexes on the surface of tumor cells, promising more precisely targeted cancer therapies, according to a team of UK researchers. And a U.S. biotech, Aura Biosciences has licensed the technology for commercial development.
Dr. Mark Howard at the University of Kent's School of Biosciences conducted much of the research work aimed at engineering these unique peptides, which could be particularly helpful in finding new drugs for difficult-to-treat cancers-such as pancreatic cancer.
"These peptides have the potential to seek out and destroy cancer cells, leaving the surrounding areas unharmed," says Dr. Phil L'Huillier, director of business management at CRT. "We believe this technology could have particular strengths in delivering treatments for cancers that have limited treatment options, such as pancreatic and head and neck cancer. Crucially this targeted treatment could also reduce the side effects that are commonly associated with standard therapies."
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