Erytech’s ‘Armed’ Red Blood Cells Will be Tested Against Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Erytech will test its Graspa technology for the treatment of a second solid tumor indication, breast cancer, following its success in pancreatic cancer.
French biotech Erytech has developed an exciting platform for the treatment of cancer called Graspa, which encapsulates L-asparaginase in red blood cells. The company is now organizing a Phase II study for its next disease target, triple negative breast cancer, which makes up 10-20% of the 600,000 women that are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Europe and the US. In addition, the decision was based on the high risk of disease recurrence and limited treatment options for patients. The biotech, which has a market cap of €307M has enjoyed a 2.5% mini-boost to its stock price this morning following the news.
Cancer cells need L-asparagine to survive and proliferate but cannot produce it themselves so they source it from the blood. By encapsulating L-asparaginase in donor-derived red blood cells, Erytech’s Graspa technology depletes the cancer’s source of the amino acid and also overcomes allergy and toxicity, which have been big problems when L-asparaginase has been used as a component of chemotherapy.
With Graspa passing a Phase IIb study for pancreatic cancer but failing to improve overall survival in acute myeloid leukemia patients, Erytech may feel that it is better suited to the treatment of solid tumors.
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