At Ecrins Therapeutics we love companion animals. We also share the feeling that we humans owe a lot to dogs: to limit dangers to humans, many drug candidates are first tested on dogs before being given to humans. We’d like to give back to them, so that they too can benefit from the progress made in oncology.
Similarly to our human oncology program, we intend to use ET-D5 in order to treat cancer in companion animals: dogs and cats.
ET-D5 mechanism of action
ET-D5 is an anti-mitotic and anti-vascular compound with an original molecular target involved in cancer progression. Contrary to many anti-vascular compounds, ET-D5 does not target tubulin or protein kinases but the Protein Phophatase 1 (PP1). ET-D5 is the first drug candidate targeting PP1 (first-in-class molecule).
The inhibition of PP1 by ET-D5 leads to the destruction of tumor blood vessels and therefore effectively shuts down the supply of O2 and nutrients to cancer cells, provoking massive intratumoral necrosis (see figure on the right). Another mechanism by which ET-D5 targets cancer cells is by arresting them in division (mitotic arrest), followed by cell death. Most importantly, ET-D5 presents interesting pharmacological properties, a good toxicology profile, and is active when administered orally.
ET-D5 veterinary oncology project development
Ecrins Therapeutics aims to develop ET-D5 for the treatment of cancer in dogs, and to put this new therapy on the market. For this, Ecrins Therapeutics launched two projects:
In 2015, Ecrins Therapeutics won the EUREKA transnational grant for the CADAC (Canine Antivascular Drug Against Cancer) project. The CADAC’s objective is to test ET-D5 in a clinical trial in dogs with spontaneous cancers. For this, Ecrins Therapeutics works together with two experienced partners: AOIC (Animal Oncology and Imaging Center), based in Switzerland, and VRCC (Veterinary Referrals Cancer and critical care Centre limited), based in United Kingdom.
AOIC and VCCR are leading animal oncology centers – highly experienced in diagnosing and treating canine cancer patients as well as testing new therapeutic approaches in experimental settings.
For the project Dog-To-Man, Ecrins Therapeutics teamed together with two academics partners (CLB – Lyon, and IGDR – Rennes), and one private veterinary clinic (ORC – Lille), in order to evaluate the efficacy of ET-D5 in canine sarcomas (see news). The project represents a classic case of translational research, meaning that we have two goals: to identify a new treatment for canine sarcomas, and to use the obtained knowledge to guide the treatment of human patients suffering from sarcomas. This approach is particularly attractive since (like many other cancers) sarcomas in dogs and humans share many similarities.