Seekyo Adds Diagnostics and Theranostics Capabilities to Its Lead Compound SKY01 That Targets Solid Tumors
Seekyo, a startup specializing in developing smart chemotherapy drugs, today announces the availability of personalized medicine tool kits that add new diagnostic and theranostics capabilities to its lead compound, SKY01. SKY01 is an Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC)-like that specifically targets tumors with poor prognosis, particularly pancreatic, lung, colon and triple-negative breast cancers. The innovative theranostic technology is designed for oncologists to monitor in real time the efficacy of SKY01, at each stage of the treatment and to adapt it accordingly.
SKY01’s tool kit, which combines diagnosis with therapy, represents one of the most promising strategies for personalized medicine and its ability to monitor and adapt the treatment outcome in real time. The company filed a patent application for this theranostic technology.
In other measures to further increase the selection of patients prior to treatment, Seekyo has also exclusively in-licenced a complementary technology, known as Induced Volatolomics. As it uses Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)-based probes to detect the presence of specific cancer markers in the breath, it will help select patients who will respond to the SKY01 therapy and then personalize the treatment based on each patient’s predictive response.
“Seekyo is excited to introduce a new paradigm in theranostics: enzyme-responsive targeting systems that enables the simultaneous selective release of an anticancer agent and a volatile probe. Detection of the latter in the patient’s breath allows for therapeutic monitoring to check that patients are being treated effectively,” said Prof. Sebastien Papot, chief scientific officer at Seekyo.
Combined, the above technologies will allow oncologists to diagnose patients with solid tumors, to evaluate their potential to be enrolled in SKY01’s clinical trials and their responsivess to the therapy. Ultimately, the treatment itself will monitor its own efficacy.
“The added theranostic tools will speed up our clinical trials and will also secure a reliable companion test for this type of treatment, something healthcare payers are strongly interested in. We are really looking forward to enrolling the first patients in the future clinical trial for SKY01, our innovative drug candidate,” added Oury Chetboun, CEO at Seekyo.
SKY01 is part of a pipeline of ADC-like drug candidates Seekyo is developing. The ADC market is projected to be worth more than $15 billion (€13.26bn) by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of over 20% due to their growing popularity and therapeutic potential.
Based on a patented molecular platform, SKY01 has the ability to detect the Tumor MicroEnvironment (TME) and trigger potent anti-cancer activity exclusively in malignant tissues through a highly selective enzymatic activation process. This increases therapy effectiveness whilst significantly reducing any adverse effects.
The company has achieved very promising results in pancreatic cancer, one of the most difficult cancers to address, using PDX (Patient Derived Xenograft) models. SKY01 has proven to be even more efficient than the current standard of care (gemcitabine). In anticipation of reaching clinical trial stage, Seekyo has industrially scaled up its production.
Figures from the International Agency for Research on Cancer show that 19.3 million new cases were diagnosed worldwide in 2020, with ten million recorded deaths. Globally, one in five people develop cancer during their lifetime; one in eight men and one in 11 women die from the disease.
Over 40% of cancers are solid tumors, which are typically treated using chemotherapy. However, chemotherapy also attacks healthy cells, leading to major adverse effects.
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