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  • Posted Thursday October 12, 2023

New antibody shows strong potential against pancreatic cancer

SIWA318H specifically targets and removes senescent cells in pancreatic tumors, slowing their growth

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Oct. 12, 2023 —Scientists at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), part of City of Hope, in collaboration with SIWA Therapeutics Inc., recently published results from a preclinical study that highlights the potential of SIWA318H, an advanced glycation end product (AGE)-targeting antibody, in the fight against pancreatic cancer. The results appear in Scientific Reports, a Nature publication.

Pancreatic cancer, especially pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), has long been known for its aggressive nature and resistance to current treatment options. SIWA318H’s ability to selectively target senescent cells represents a new approach to treating the disease. Senescent cells within the tumor microenvironment have been identified as major contributors to tumor development, growth and therapy resistance. SIWA318H, an antibody specifically designed to target AGEs, offers a novel approach to eliminate these senescent cells and reshape the tumor microenvironment.

“These pre-clinical results suggest that SIWA318H is a promising new therapeutic against pancreatic cancer,” said Lewis S. Gruber, CEO and co-founder of SIWA Therapeutics. “By reshaping the tumor microenvironment, our goal is to improve the efficacy of cancer treatments and potentially lead to better patient outcomes.”

The study's key findings reveal that SIWA318H has a remarkable ability to specifically attach itself to modified proteins associated with aging and cancer progression. It targets senescent cells, which are linked to these health issues, both in vitro and within living organisms. This ability to target senescent cells is an important part of how the drug works. Additionally, SIWA318H can trigger a process called antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), which helps the immune system eliminate cancer cells.

In a study involving mice with pancreatic cancer, those treated with SIWA318H saw a significant reduction in tumor growth, increased survival, and an increased rate of complete remission compared to mice treated with a control antibody. Furthermore, the tumors treated with SIWA318H showed fewer senescent cells and less profibrotic cells, indicating a positive impact on the tumor's surrounding environment.

“SIWA318H's ability to selectively target senescent cells, coupled with its demonstrated efficacy in preclinical models, offers a glimmer of hope for a new approach to tackling this formidable disease,” said Haiyong Han, Ph.D., a professor in the Molecular Medicine Division at TGen and the study's senior author.

These findings also suggest that SIWA318H holds promise for potential use in combating aging-related issues and cancer. 

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About TGen, part of City of Hope
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based nonprofit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life-changing results. TGen is part of City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. This precision medicine affiliation enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases through cutting-edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research toward patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and complex rare diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process.

About SIWA Therapeutics Inc.
SIWA Therapeutics, Inc., a Chicago, Illinois based biopharmaceutical company, has developed SIWA318H, a proprietary humanized mAb, that selectively targets a biomarker on damaged/dysfunctional cells that exhibit a combination of: (a) an abnormally high level of glycolysis (Warburg effect) and (b) oxidative stress. Cells with the SIWA-identified biomarker include specifically: (1) cancer cells, (2) senescent cells (SCs), (3) and other dysfunctional oxidatively damaged cells. As aggressive cancers are strongly glycolytic and thus, particularly targetable by SIWA318H, our initial focus is on life-threatening aggressive cancers, e.g. pancreatic cancer. At the AACR Special Conference: Aging and Cancer (2022), SIWA and the Translational Genomics Research Institute, which did sponsored research for SIWA, presented "SIWA318H, a novel advanced glycation end product (AGE) specific antibody, targets cancer and senescent cells in the tumor microenvironment and exhibits potent antitumor activity in a humanized mouse model for pancreatic cancer." Results included complete remission of the cancer and increased survival in a humanized mouse xenograft model for pancreatic cancer. As SIWA318H can uniquely remove both cancer cells and the SCs surrounding them in the tumor micro-environment that stimulate, feed, and protect them, SIWA318H could become a comprehensive immunotherapy for cancer by stopping both cancer progression, and metastasis.

SIWA media contact:

Misty Gruber
312-948-9045 ext. 103
[email protected]


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