Pre-EMP-tive strike against GBM
University of California, Los Angeles researchers have treated glioblastoma in mice by inhibiting epithelial membrane protein 2.1 The findings open up a new indication for spinout Paganini Biopharma Inc., which has a mAb against the target in development for triple-negative breast cancer.
Epithelial membrane protein 2 (EMP2) is expressed in multiple tissues, including heart, lung, uterus and eye, in which it interacts with integrins to regulate adhesion between cells and the extracellular matrix.2,3
Over the past eight years, several UCLA teams led by Madhuri Wadehra showed that EMP2 was upregulated in endometrial, ovarian and breast cancers, in which it correlated with advanced disease and poor survival,4-7 and that inhibiting the protein reduced ovarian and breast tumor growth in mice.6,7
Based on a different group's gene expression research,8 Wadehra hypothesized that EMP2 also could be a target in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)-the most common and aggressive form