|ERYTECH Presents New Preclinical Anti-Tumor Data on Erymethionase at AACR 2017|
Results from the preclinical study demonstrate that erymethionase, methionine gamma-lyase (MGL)-encapsulated in red blood cells using ERYTECH’s proprietary encapsulation platform technology, represents a promising new treatment approach against a broad range of cancers that rely on methionine metabolism. The research will be presented by Dr. Vanessa Bourgeaux, Program Leader at ERYTECH, during a poster session at the conference.
Dr. Bourgeaux stated, “Methionine dependence has emerged as a unique target for anti-cancer activity during the last two decades. While methionine gamma-lyase is a promising strategy for these cancers, its very short half-life in the body prohibited all attempts to develop MGL as cancer therapy. However, our work here shows that when encapsulated in red blood cells using our ERYCAPS technology, MGL is protected from degradation and overcomes the pharmacokinetic limitations resulting in increased half-life in vivo for effective potential use in a broad-range of methionine-dependent cancers.”
Methionine is an essential amino acid, which is necessary for all cells to grow and multiply. More specifically, fast-growing tumor cells exhibit very high requirements of methionine to proliferate. The enzyme methionine gamma-lyase (MGL) mediates tumor starvation via systemic lowering of methionine levels. MGL is an enzyme with a short half-life and is dependent on a co-factor, a Vitamin B6 derivative which is naturally present in red blood cells, to demonstrate enzymatic activity. The preclinical studies in mouse models of erymethionase aimed to investigate the protection of MGL against degradation and immune reactions through encapsulation in erythrocytes (red blood cells).
ERYTECH researchers demonstrated that encapsulation of MGL in red blood cells both strongly improved the half-life of the enzyme and provided active co-factor to increase MGL activity and therefore, tumor starvation. The half-life of MGL increased from less than 24 hours when free to more than 10 days when encapsulated in red blood cells, with no toxicity reported. The preclinical study showed that combining a single weekly intravenous injection of erymethionase with daily pyridoxine (PN) supplementation led to a sustained methionine depletion in the plasma, and an inhibition of tumor growth for 45 days following the fifth erymethionase dose of 85% in the glioblastoma mouse model, and of 72% in the gastric cancer mouse model. Repeated injections of ERY-MET were also effective against established tumors in the gastric cancer model leading to a complete tumor regression.
Full details of the AACR presentation follow:
# 2134 / Poster # 3: Use of methionine gamma-lyase-loaded
erythrocytes to induce effective methionine depletion of cancer therapy
Eryaspase consists of an enzyme, L-asparaginase, encapsulated inside
donor-derived red blood cells. L-asparaginase depletes asparagine, a
naturally occurring amino acid essential for the survival and
proliferation of cancer cells, from circulating blood plasma. ERYTECH
produces eryaspase at its own GMP-approved and operational manufacturing
In addition to eryaspase, ERYTECH is developing two other product candidates that focus on using encapsulated enzymes to induce tumor starvation. The company is also exploring the use of its ERYCAPS platform for developing cancer immunotherapies and enzyme replacement therapies.
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