QUB and Almac discover natural protein with anti-angiogenic activity
11 April 2011
Scientists from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s University
Belfast (QUB) and Almac Discovery Ltd, have announced the first
publication describing a potential new anti-angiogenic therapy based on
a natural protein first discovered at QUB.
Anti-angiogenics prevent the growth of new blood vessels in tumours
and starve them of nutrients, leading to inhibition of tumour
The paper, published in Clinical Cancer Research,
describes the anti-angiogenic activity of the natural protein,
FKBPL, and peptides derived from it. Both the full-length protein
and the smaller peptides disrupt the tumour blood supply, leading to
highly effective inhibition of tumour growth in models of prostate
and breast cancer. One of the active peptides is being developed by
Almac Discovery for the treatment of solid tumours.
Professor Tracy Robson, who lead the QUB group said, "We are
excited by the therapeutic possibilities opened up by this research
and look forward to continuing this successful and stimulating
collaboration with Almac Discovery."
Dr Stephen Barr, President & Managing Director of Almac Discovery
said, "This is a first class example of a collaboration between
academia and industry to produce a novel approach to cancer therapy
that has a real chance of helping patients."
Anti-angiogenic therapies are well established for the treatment
of cancer, but current therapies are all based on disrupting the
activity of one growth factor, VEGF. The work from this
collaboration may provide a first-in-class therapy that targets
tumor angiogenesis by an entirely different pathway to those agents
currently on the market.