Altered metabolic pathways support cancer in multiple ways. Tumor cells take up and use nutrients for accelerated growth and survival in demanding tumor microenvironment. They also release metabolites that help shaping the immunosuppressive microenvironment of tumor contributing to the immune evasion. Our research programs in both cancer metabolism and immunometabolism aim at crucial nodes of altered metabolic pathways of tumor cells.
Our leading program in the field (SEL330) targets two subtypes of adenosine receptors A2A and A2B.
Adenosine, recently named the godfather of immune evasion, is a widespread strategy tumor cells use to evade immune surveillance. First in class dual A2A/A2B antagonists discovered by Selvita target virtually each subpopulation of immune cells that may contribute to immune response to cancer. Improved selectivity profile provides additional differentiation compared to competing clinical programs.
Other early stage programs in immunometabolism field target another nodes of adenosine pathway and other pathways contributing to the release immunomodulatory metabolites in tumor.
In cancer metabolism field we focus on the inhibition of serine metabolism and folic acid cycle using small molecule inhibitors with the proven selective mechanism of action. Up-to-date research has allowed identification of key points of metabolism, protein molecular targets and markers of sensitivity and selection of patients. Based on this knowledge, we have discovered new active molecules allowing a targeted therapeutic approach. These molecules in addition to greater efficiency, provided by a personalized therapy, will be characterized by safety of use due to the specificity of action.
Molecular targets selected for the project give a good chance of obtaining a first-in-class drug.