Wednesday, February 01, 2023
Hillstream BioPharma, Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel therapeutic candidates targeting ferroptosis, an emerging new anti-cancer mechanism resulting in iron mediated cell death for drug resistant and devastating cancers, today announced signing an exclusive option agreement with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to license technology targeting the MUC1-C oncoprotein.
The MUC1 gene was identified by Dr. Donald Kufe, Distinguished Physician and Researcher at Dana-Farber and based on its overexpression in human cancers. Dr. Kufe’s long-standing work has supported the premise that prolonged activation of MUC1-C in settings of chronic inflammation promotes cancer.
Dr. Kufe has demonstrated that MUC1-C is necessary for multiple hallmarks of the cancer cell, including (i) the persister cell (PC) state, (ii) drug resistance, (iii) immunosuppression, and (iv) poor clinical outcomes. Importantly, he has found a marked MUC1-C dependency for cancer stem cells (CSCs) derived from highly aggressive TNBCs, SCLCs, MCCs and NEPCs. Based on these findings, MUC1-C has emerged as an exceptional target for cancer treatment with agents developed in the Kufe laboratory.
Dana-Farber has granted under an exclusive option agreement to Hillstream Biopharma Inc., certain of its proprietary technology which if converted to an exclusive license agreement, will allow Hillstream to develop anti-MUC1-C antibodies to selectively deliver Hillstream’s Quatramer-based lead candidate HSB-1216 targeting CSC by the induction of ferroptosis. This approach combining HSB-1216 with conjugation to MUC1-C antibodies is highly synergistic for the elimination of CSCs, which is needed for long term responses and cures.
“We look forward to this unique opportunity to work with Dr. Kufe and Dana-Farber,” said Randy Milby, CEO of Hillstream. “This agreement allows Hillstream to leverage our Quatramer platform to advance anti-MUC1-C agents targeting CSCs for the treatment of highly aggressive tumors, which represents a major unmet need for patients.”