Phylogica, WA

Researcher: Doug Fairly
Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
Cell Death & Survival Group

Building Smarter Cancer Drugs

Business Foundations is supporting  Phylogica WA to build smarter cancer drugs. 

Business Foundations is supporting  Phylogica WA to build smarter cancer drugs. 

Research has shown that many cancer types are dependent on certain members of the BCL-2 family of proteins for their survival. Accordingly, researchers have been investigating ways to target these proteins and activate the natural cell suicide machinery within tumours.

Whilst this approach has been effective for some cancers, others do not respond, or respond poorly.

In order to improve the efficacy and precision of these types of treatments, Doug Fairlie’s group at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute have been employing the “Phylomer” based cell penetrating peptide technology developed by Phylogica to deliver highly potent agents capable of targeting BCL-2 proteins into tumour cells.

In a recent pilot study, this approach resulted in effective killing of a range of cell types with minimal off-target effects, and with higher potency than other similar approaches.

As a result of these encouraging results, this highly productive collaboration is now moving into its next phase, where they are combining Phylomer-based reagents developed at both Phylogica and the Institute to further improve the potency of such treatments.

Early results from their work in leukaemia and lymphoma have been very promising and they now plan to extend their studies to other cancers such as melanoma, breast and lung cancer.