Laigo co-founder Madelon Maurice receives KWF and Health Holland funding to further study the innovative SureTAC technology, designed in collaboration with ArgoBio and Oncode, to degrade cancer-specific proteins
Prof. Madelon Maurice's group at UMC Utrecht has been awarded 1.2 million for its research into the effect of a new technology they have developed for eliminating cancer proteins.
The project is funded by KWF, which stimulates public-private partnerships with government money through the top sector Life Sciences & Health (under the name Health-Holland).
Targeted elimination of cancer proteins
Proteins are the building blocks of all cells in the body. Cancer cells also need proteins to survive. Many treatments for cancer are therefore based on inhibiting proteins found only in cancer cells. Unfortunately, many of these treatments have drawbacks, such as serious side effects and limited duration of action. Moreover, not all cancer proteins are sensitive to this approach.
Madelon Maurice and her colleagues are researching a new approach, in which they remove cancer-causing proteins from the surface of cancer cells. They do this by bringing these proteins into contact with "degradation proteins" located inside the cell. By not only inhibiting the activity but removing the entire protein, there may be fewer harmful side effects and a longer effect of the treatment.
The goal of Madelon and her colleagues' research is to gain a better understanding of how these so-called "protein-removing molecules" work. "The first experiments are promising," says Madelon. "But for a targeted application, we want to know exactly how these surface proteins are degraded, and why some combinations of cancer-causing and degrading proteins don't work. If we know better how to optimize the bringing together of the two types of proteins, we will have a starting point for future, innovative cancer therapies."
The project of Madelon Maurice and colleagues comes about with Oncode Institute as a partner and is a collaboration with Laigo Bio BV.