The future of drug targeting and predictive medicine…
A variety of drugs are required to treat the many types of cancer. Different cancers respond differently to different drugs. Even different patients with the same type of cancer respond differently to the same drug. In some cases, cancer cells develop a resistance to drugs that are initially effective. To address these challenges, Endocyte is developing a portfolio of targeted drugs to provide the most effective therapy for each cancer type, and some of these agents are currently being evaluated in human clinical trials. Our initial focus is on folate-receptor-targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer. Folate is required for cell division, and rapidly dividing cancers over-express special folate receptors to capture more folate from the bloodstream. We take advantage of this by delivering highly active cell-killing drugs specifically to these receptor sites.
We are also developing targeted therapies for other cancer-cell receptors and other diseases. An essential part of our strategy is the use of companion diagnostic imaging agents, like etarfolatide (EC20) and EC0652, which may predict whether the drug will reach the sites of disease (see predictive medicine).