A Russian private biotechnology company Metamax, Ltd, financed by Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund, set up with the participation of RVC, has successfully completed the preclinical studies of the leading drug for treatment of colorectal cancer MM-D37K which is a special case of the technological platform based on internalized peptide sequences.

The Chief Scientific Adviser of Metamax Prof. Vladimir Bozhenko has presented the results of preclinical trials of the drug MM-D37K at the 38th Congress of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS), held in St. Petersburg in July, 2013. This event is one of the most representative platforms for the demonstration of the latest achievements in the field of biochemical science. Annually more than 3,000 delegates from all over the world take part in this Congress.

Preclinical studies have shown the agent’s promising therapeutic activity against various cancer models (in vitro and in vivo) and presented the evidence of the additive and cumulative effect of MM-D37K and standard chemotherapeutic agents (in vitro). Safety studies have also been successfully completed. All the results of the preclinical work will be published in the collection of abstracts of the ASCO Annual Meeting 2013, whose annual Congresses on issues of oncology are the most famous in the world and the number of participants of each meeting is more than 30000 specialists.

The company is planning to file documents to the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation for approval of Phase I/IIa clinical trial in oncological subjects with tumors of the gastrointestinal cancer until the end of the august.

It ought to be remarked that the development of cycline-dependent kinase inhibitors 4/6 is one of the most perspective line (trend direction) in searching drugs in oncology.  However, in contrast to products developed by large pharmaceutical companies that are low-molecular inhibitors and interact with ATP-binding domains of cycline-dependent kinase, the MetaMax’s product inhibits cycline-dependent kinases by the protein-protein interaction with the functional peptide sequence of the protein p16 which modulates the natural activation of tumor cells apoptosis. The biology of the product MM-D37K affords to avoid drug resistance, specific to low molecular drugs.

Parallel to the development of the leading drug MM-37K MetaMax has successfully conducted the searching and screening of new cytotoxic sequences, based on the sequence of protein inhibitor of the cycline-dependent kinase inhibitors 4/6. As a result the most perspective peptide with the highest cytotoxic activity against several tumor cell lines has been chosen. This peptide will continue preclinical studies of efficacy and safety for the expansion of the product portfolio of the company MetaMax. Series of preclinical studies of efficacy in particular are planned on models of melanoma (skin cancer) and glioblastoma (brain cancer) which are often associated with the loss of the p16 protein functions responsible for the apoptosis activation through the inhibition of the cycline-dependent kinase 4/6.

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