Personalized Medicine | Targeted Destruction of Cancer Cells | Oral GCSF | Oral Interferon |  Mucosal Cancer Vaccine
Oral Interferon

Target therapy for: Cancer related Immunotherapy

Size of market 2003: US$2.6bn though the proportion at present for cancer therapy as a primary indication is a small proportion of this market

Rationale: The oral delivery of interferon alpha (INFa) could replace injected interferon products currently on market for cancer indications and expand market through greater patient acceptance.

Stage of development: Kancer has obtained exclusive rights to the Axcess technology which has demonstrated oral delivery in four other large peptide models. Some initial formulation incorporation work has been conducted and the company is presently sourcing interferons to prepare formulations for large animal testing.

Background: Interferons are a family of naturally-occurring proteins that are produced by cells of the immune system. Three classes of interferons have been identified: Alfa, beta and gamma. Each class has different effects though their activities overlap. Together, the interferons direct the immune system's attack on viruses, bacteria, tumors and other foreign substances that may invade the body. Once interferons have detected and attacked a foreign substance, they alter it by slowing, blocking, or changing its growth or function.

Since interferons enhance the immune system in many ways, the interferons have been evaluated for effectiveness in managing many diseases that involve the immune system.  For example, there are approximately 18 cancers, and 11 viral infections for which interferon alfa-2a is being used or being evaluated.  (Kancer has rights for primary Kancer indications for use of products only) The other interferons also have FDA-approved uses.

Interferon alfa-2b is approved for the treatment of hairy cell leukemia, malignant melanoma, condylomata acuminata, AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma, chronic hepatitis C, and chronic hepatitis B. Ribavirin combined with interferon alfa-2b, interferon alfacon-1 (Infergen), pegylated interferon alfa-2b, or pegylated interferon alpha-2a, all are approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Interferon beta-1b (Betaseron) and interferon beta-1a (Avonex) are approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Interferon alfa-n3 (Alferon-N) is approved for the treatment of genital and perianal warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Interferon gamma-1B (Actimmune) is approved for the treatment of chronic granulomatous disease, and severe, malignant osteopetrosis. (Kancer rights only for cancer indications).

Stage of development: Preparing for formulation studies