HyACT - delivering more drug to the tumour triggering internalisation leading to improved treatment of cancer
Overview - HyACT is a flexible platform technology that Alchemia is using to target cancer drugs directly to tumours, designed to increase effectiveness against tumours without increasing toxicity. HyACT uses a material called hyaluronic acid, or HA, to deliver increased amounts of cancer drugs directly to tumour cells. HyACT binds to the activated receptor CD44, which is known to be present in high levels in the majority of cancer types but, importantly, is generally not activated in healthy tissue. As a result, HyACT is able to target cancer drugs preferentially to tumour cells without increasing treatment toxicity. CD44 over-expression is associated with more aggressive, metastatic tumours and is also a marker for cancer stem cells which are believed to be responsible for treatment failure of chemotherapy.
Fluorescence microscopy of cancer cells with HA-Doxorubicin and doxorubicin. Punctuate staining (arrow) represents increased doxorubicin uptake within vesicles of the cells.