Codiak unveils its preclin data on exosomes for PDAC
Codiak BioSciences Inc. founder Raghu Kalluri has published the first animal data demonstrating exosomes can be used as drug delivery vehicles to treat cancer -- not just diagnose it. The findings also mark the unveiling of Codiak’s lead therapeutic program: exosomes that carry an siRNA against mutant KRAS to treat pancreatic cancer.
Exosomes first gained traction as a handle for non-invasive diagnostics because they are shed by cells into the bloodstream, and carry with them nucleic acids and proteins that can provide a window into the biology of the cells that shed them.
The first exosome-based diagnostic was launched last year by Exosome Diagnostics Inc. The prostate cancer test uses urine samples to detect a three-gene signature in exosomal RNA that is indicative of high-grade prostate cancer.
At least six companies are developing exosome-based diagnostics. Although Codiak is focusing only on therapeutics, it still retains IP to ongoing work by Kalluri on a pancreatic cancer test rooted in an earlier study from his lab identifying GPC1 as a biomarker on exosomes released from pancreatic cancer cells. Exosome Diagnostics is also developing a diagnostic for the indication, and published a Science Translational Medicine study on it last month (see “Detecting PDAC”).