CCN-Based Therapeutic Peptides Modify the Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Microenvironment and Decrease Tumor Growth in Combination with Chemotherapy

CHICAGO, IL, May 29, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — BLR Bio LLC. today announced results from preclinical studies demonstrating the potential role in the treatment of Pancreatic Cancer of the company’s CCN-Based Therapeutic Peptides. The studies were published in Cells 2020, 9(4), 952 titled “CCN-Based Therapeutic Peptides Modify Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Microenvironment and Decrease Tumor Growth in Combination with Chemotherapy”.

“In this preclinical study, BLR’s peptides were shown to have therapeutic potential in combination with gemcitabine, a first line therapy in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma,” said Dr. Giulia Taraboletti the study project team leader at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research IRCCS, Italy. Dr. Dorina Belotti, last author of the research article, noted that “CCN3 is an endogenous inhibitor of CCN2 pro-fibrotic signaling functions. CCN2 is overexpressed in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, where it contributes to the formation of the fibrotic microenvironment typical of this tumor and favors tumor progression. CCN-3 has therefore been proposed as a model for the design of CCN2 inhibitory agents. Our findings that the BLR Bio peptides are indeed able to inhibit fibrotic stroma development and angiogenesis in an experiment model of pancreatic cancer, indicate that they can antagonize CCN2, even in a tumor setting rich in CCN2, and supports the rationale for the development of such CCN3-based drugs for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma therapy.”

Dr. Bruce Riser, the founder and CEO of BLR Bio said “BLR peptides potentiated the therapeutic effect of gemcitabine, indicating an additive/synergistic effect of the drugs. The findings point to a two-compartment activity of the combination, with BLR peptides and gemcitabine targeting, respectively, the tumor microenvironment and tumor cell proliferation. Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma remains a major medical challenge with one of the lowest 5 year-survival rates among cancers. Given that many other solid tumor types with low survival rates are characterized by a dense stromal microenvironment, we believe that they are good targets for our drugs as well.”

Dr. Riser also remarked “We are most grateful to be working with the cancer experts at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, in Milan and Bergamo, Italy. I highly value my long collaborative relationship with Prof. Giuseppe Remuzzi, the institute director, and the team of professionals I have had the good fortune to work with there. This was truly a team effort that included experts in the tumor microenvironment from the Pathology Section of Jena University, Jena, Germany.”

The tumor microenvironment has been an area of focus for research in many solid tumors including Pancreatic Cancer, characterized by a dense fibrotic-like microenvironment that protects the cancer cells and provides both the scaffolding and the signaling for their malignant progression towards a metastatic, untreatable disease. The ability of BLR Bio’s peptides to modulate the tumor microenvironment provides promise that they can be combined with other therapies like chemotherapy and immunotherapy to improve outcomes for cancer patients.

BLR Bio is continuing to develop their platform of therapeutic peptides to treat a range of cancers as well as fibrosis-based diseases including scleroderma, chronic kidney disease, NASH and lung disease.

About BLR Bio:

About BLR BIO LLC: BLR Bio is a privately-held early stage biotechnology company, founded out of work conducted at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) in North Chicago in the laboratory of Dr Riser, and is committed to the discovery and development of transformational therapies and diagnostics for the treatment of Cancer and a broad spectrum of serious Fibrotic Diseases. For further information please visit our website BLRbio.com. BLR Bio has labs is located within innovation park on the grounds of RFUMS.

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