90% of cancer related deaths come from drug resistance. As cancers progress, tumors show increased heterogeneity and genomic complexity, which increases the likelihood of drug resistance and is associated with poor outcomes. New treatments for use in earlier stages of disease would be more effective, but must account for the differences in benefit-risk assessments in healthier patients. This has led to a significant unmet need for safe, effective treatments with a high therapeutic index that are deployable in early stages of care.
Current targeted therapies and immunotherapies treat drug resistance only after it occurs. However, these next generation molecules are often more toxic than earlier line treatments and are often effective for a shorter period of time. Immunotherapies targeting drug resistance are used in situations where the number of tumors cells may be overwhelming to the amount newly generated immunity. This allows tumors time to remove the mutations recognized by the immune system limiting the effectiveness of this approach. Finally, checkpoint inhibitors generate immunity non-specifically to what already exists in the tumors and thus are not efficient in limiting the development of new resistance.
We have created a solution to a huge program where no viable solutions or therapies exist. Replicate has created a new class of treatment that targets drug resistance before it occurs, with a high therapeutic index for use in early stages of care. Our initial focus will be on creating a first-in-class treatment to address unmet needs in breast cancer, with a secondary focus in prostate and lung cancers.