Aprea’s drug candidate has anti-tumor effects and may also fulfill an unmet need by overcoming resistance to several conventional chemotherapeutic drugs.
Many anticancer drugs work by inducing DNA damage in cancer cells. This activates the tumor suppressor protein p53, which triggers cellular aging and/or cell death by apoptosis, thus eliminating the tumor. But 50% of all tumors carry mutant defective p53 that fails to induce cell death. These tumors often show increased resistance to chemotherapy and poor prognosis.
Aprea has found a unique way of putting defective p53 back into shape. Aprea’s drug candidate APR-246 reactivates both mutant and defective native p53, leading to tumor cell death. This also raises hopes for improving the efficacy of chemotherapy. Initial clinical trials have shown good safety and significant biological and clinical effects.
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