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Feb 04, 2013
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Incanthera: Using, not targeting, MMP

Incanthera using matrix metalloproteinase to activate prodrugs against cancer

Incanthera Ltd. has found a new use for a class of enzymes that are up-regulated in tumors and contribute to cancer progression. Rather than design inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases, the biotech is instead using them to activate cytotoxic cancer therapies at the tumor site.

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of 24 zinc-dependent endopeptidases involved in degradation of extracellular matrix protein components. Many MMPs are up-regulated in cancers and promote tumor growth, migration, differentiation, invasion and metastasis.

However, designing inhibitors of specific MMP isoforms has proven difficult, and many of the MMP inhibitors that have reached the clinic have been abandoned due to lack of specificity and resulting musculoskeletal side effects.

Incanthera is instead developing ICT2588, an inactive conjugate of colchicine that is specifically cleaved into an...

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