Curacyte AG, a Munich-based drug development company focused on novel treatments of inflammatory diseases, thrombotic disorders and cancer has announced today that its scientists have discovered a series of novel small molecule inhibitors of matriptase, a trypsin-like serine protease. Matriptase is an important mediator in the degradation of the extracellular matrix, a process which plays a key role during metastasis. Inhibiting this key enzyme produced by tumor cells might provide a route to prevent tumor metastasis and invasive growth. This compound series thus offers potential as novel anti-tumor agents for the treatment of metastatic malignancies and Curacyte will now move this program into pre-clinical development.
Since the discovery of the gene in 1999, matriptase has increasingly gained attention as a potential biological target for inhibiting tumor spread. Today, matriptase is recognized as an innovative anti-cancer target. In in vitro assays, the Curacyte inhibitor series exhibit excellent affinity and selectivity towards the target and a pharmacokinetic profile that supports their use as pharmaceutically active substances.
Dr. Helmut Giersiefen, Chief Executive Officer of Curacyte AG, commented on the recent scientific success:
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