Woburn Mass, November 13, 2019 -Aphios Corporation today announced that it has been granted United Sates Patent No. 10,258,635 for “Formulations and Compositions of Vitamin D3 Analogs for Treating and Preventing Cancer and Other Diseases.”
Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated that people who live in higher latitudes are at a higher risk for many cancers, including prostate cancer and autoimmune diseases. Epidemiologists have demonstrated that there is an inverse relationship between lines of latitude, sun exposure and cutaneous synthesis of Vitamin D3 and skin color, i.e. dark-skinned people, e.g. African Americans living in the Northeastern hemisphere have a higher likelihood of getting and dying from prostate cancer. Researchers have confirmed the latitudinal impact and Vitamin D3 intake on decreasing the risk of various cancers, including breast, ovary and prostate, and several autoimmune diseases. Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer that affects the male population. It is estimated that in Western countries, about 30% of men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime. Prostate Cancer is the second leading cause of new cancer cases in men worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the US. In the US, there are over three million men survivors of prostate cancer today; it is estimated that there will be 174,650 new cases and 31,620 deaths in the US due to prostate cancer in 2019. The global prostate cancer market is estimated to reach US $17.2 billion by the end of 2024; it is one of the larger segments of the oncology market, alongside breast, non-small cell lung and colorectal cancers.
The mainstay of chemotherapy includes androgen deprivation. However, there are limited therapies available for prostate cancers that fail to respond to androgen therapy. In addition to androgens, prostate cancer cells respond to Vitamin D3. Most human prostate cancer cells contain the Vitamin D3 receptor (VDR). Numerous studies have shown that prostate cancer cells respond to Vitamin D3 by enhancing differentiation and decreasing proliferation.These findings strongly support the use of Vitamin D3-based agents for first line and/or second line therapy when androgen deprivation failed. Thus, Vitamin D3 analogs and/or its metabolites are attractive agents for prostate cancer. However, the use of Vitamin D3 is limited by the risk of toxicity due to hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria.
Dr. Castor, Principal Investigator and author of the patent, states, “By covalently attaching a non-toxic and biologically inert pre-hormonal form of Vitamin D3 to a ligand that binds to the hormone-binding pocket of VDR, our scientists converted the former into a transcriptionally and biologically active form . Thus, we were able to translate the non-toxic nature of the pre-hormonal form into its VDR-alkylating analog, harnessing the anti-cancer property of a ‘Vitamin D3-like molecule’ without systemic toxicity. We further enhanced efficacy while reducing toxicity by utilizing nanoparticles to protect normal cells and increase Vitamin D3 analog residence time in the body.”
About Aphios Corporation:
Aphios Corporation (www.aphios.com) is an emerging growth biotechnology company developing green enabling technology platforms for improving drug discovery and manufacturing, nanotechnology drug delivery and pathogenic drug safety. Based on these enabling technology platforms, we are developing enhanced therapeutics for health maintenance and disease prevention, and the treatment of cancers such as prostate and pancreatic cancer, supportive care such as CINV, infectious diseases such as HIV, and nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Pain and Opioid Addiction.
Research leading to this discovery was in part funded by a SBIR Grant No. 1R41CA126317-1A1 from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NCI and the NIH.