PHAGERIA® Drug Candidate Demonstrates Promising Ability to Combat Cancer in Organoid Model

Today, iNtRON Biotechnology has made a groundbreaking announcement: its PHAGERIA® platform technology has proven successful in treating cancer using P18-BE3CRC, a unique drug candidate consisting of bacteriophage-based drugs (Phageome API). The effectiveness of this platform was demonstrated in a cancer organoid model, confirming its potential as a powerful cancer control option.

Bacteriophages have long been used in the R&D of bacterial infectious diseases, but the scope of their application has recently expanded to the anti-cancer field. This new development has been made possible by a platform technology called PHAGERIA®. PHAGERIA® has already been successfully tested against colorectal cancer (CRC), providing a promising new avenue for treating this deadly disease.

Colorectal cancer is a growing health problem, particularly among those aged 50 and over. In fact, in Korea alone, almost 90% of colorectal cancer cases involve people in this age group, with the numbers steadily rising each year. It’s a sobering reminder that we should all be taking steps to protect ourselves and those around us from this potentially deadly disease.

The underlying cause of the molecular pathological features of colorectal cancer, such as Chromosomal instability (CIN), microsatellite instability (MSI), and CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), is still unknown, although it is known that genetic factors including family history, aging, smoking, and westernized eating habits can play a role. Despite the lack of clarity, it is clear that these features are a key part of what makes CRC so dangerous.

Researchers have recently begun to explore the potential link between the microbiome of the colon and colorectal cancer. Scientists are attempting to isolate and identify the specific microbiome associated with colorectal cancer in the hopes of discovering a way to prevent and control the disease.

If successful, they could not only find a way to keep cancer from developing, but also from recurring or metastasizing after surgery. This new research has brought a great deal of excitement and hope for those affected by colorectal cancer.

iNtRON Bio is on a mission to control the harmful effects of enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) and pks+ E. coli, which secrete toxins such as BFT (Bacteroides fragilis toxin) and Colibactin. To achieve this, they are researching and developing the world’s first drugs to target the phageome, a cutting-edge approach to managing the microbiome. With their groundbreaking work, iNtRON Bio is paving the way for a healthier future.

Recent studies have shown that two specific microbiomes are present in an astonishing 70% of colorectal cancer patients, but also in 60% of normal individuals. This suggests that the microbiome may be closely linked to the onset and progression of colorectal cancer, emphasizing the need for further research in this area.

The potential of PHAGERIA® (phageome) as a new cancer-controlling drug was tested by establishing a culture method for organoids derived from healthy human colon tissue and inducing tumorigenesis with ETBF and pks+ E. coli. Remarkably, administering PHAGERIA® candidate was found to significantly inhibit tumorigenesis.

This discovery suggests that if the microbiome that causes cancer can be kept in check, recurrence and metastasis of cancer can be prevented, expanding the utility of PHAGERIA® as a powerful cancer-controlling drug.

Dr. SON Ji-soo, the head of the BD Department, proudly declared that PHAGERIA® candidate material and related platform technologies are continually being perfected through reverse and forward genetic engineering.

He highlighted that their proprietary bacterial phage-targeted gene editing technology, implemented in PHAGERIA® and PHAGERUS®, will be further reinforced with intellectual property rights.

Mr. YOON, Kyung-won, CEO of iNtRON, announced plans to accelerate follow-up research and development through partnerships with global companies. He unveiled a plan to develop a new Phageome drug through PHAGERIA® platform technology, an oral capsule for easy intake, and to speed up the development process with the help of global partners.

About PHAGERIA® Platform

PHAGERIA® from iNtRON is an innovative platform for exploring the fascinating relationship between bacteriophages and bacteria, and its effect on human health. By consuming intestinal bacteria, bacteriophages can cause changes in the gut flora, which can have an impact on immunity and overall wellbeing. With PHAGERIA®, researchers are able to uncover the hidden potential of bacteriophages in improving human health.

About iNtRON Biotechnology, Inc.

iNtRON is a pioneering bio-new drug development venture company that is leading the way in bacteriophage-based technology for humans. After entering its IPO in KOSDAQ, the company has invested heavily in global research and business development (R&BD) and is committed to developing innovative ‘First-in-Class” and “First-in-Concept’ bio-drugs and conducting clinical studies.

With a focus on developing breakthroughs in the infectious diseases and ‘Immune & Immunotherapeutics’ areas, iNtRON is pushing the boundaries of innovation and revolutionizing the medical industry.

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