A naturally-occurring peptide as a potential treatment for cancer

Type: Pharmaceuticals
Sector: Oncology



Metastases to liver are very common for primary breast, lung, and colorectal tumors, with a 5-year survival rate as low as <5%. Synchronous hepatic metastases may be identified in 10-20% of patients with colorectal cancer and up to 50% of those with some other extrahepatic primary tumors. Furthermore, there is no useful prognostic biomarker for hepatic micro-metastases, which if available could enable earlier intervention. The estimated worldwide incidence of newly diagnosed breast, lung and colorectal cancer in developed countries and more affluent populations in less-developed countries is up to 5 million per year; hence the calculated annual incidence of liver metastases is over one million. Thus, with 10% penetration and a price of $50K per year with one-year course of treatment, the potential annual market size is $5 billion.


A synthetic peptide (~40 amino acids in length) or an improved derivative peptoid or other small molecule will be used prophylactically in pre-metastasis disease or therapeutically to retard metastasis to liver metastasis and metastatic disease progression. Additionally, the level of peptide in a patient's blood can be used as a diagnostic or a prognostic biomarker for metastasis.


 Levels in liver of the peptide and its RNA were increased relative in mice that are more resistant to liver metastasis of colon cancer and T cell lymphoma.

 Peptide injection to mice that develop liver metastases reduces the number and size of implanted tumors.

 Peptide injection inhibits tumor growth in animals before or after the formation of metastases.

 The peptide is very stable in mouse serum – 55% of the initial level was detected after 24 hours of incubation, which is much higher than that of typical peptides.

Plans for the coming year:

 Further elucidating the mechanism of action of the peptide.

 Synthesizing and testing peptide derivatives as pharmaceutically superior product candidates.


Metastatic liver cancer that originates from various types of primary tumors, especially colorectal, breast and lung.

Competitive Advantage:

Numerous metastasis-inhibiting drugs have shown activity in preclinical models, but none has yet shown clinical efficacy in patients with tumors. Our novel peptide therapeutic therefore provides a potential solution for a major unmet clinical need in cancer.

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Prof. Rinat Abramovitch

Contact Info:

Tal Almog