Encyt was founded in 2014 and has been engaged in pioneering research that has uncovered evidence for a distinct and highly conserved inflammatory response triggered by surgical removal of a primary breast, colorectal, or prostate tumor and treatment with chemotherapy or radiation. This response occurs within a predictable time frame after cancer treatment and can trigger accelerated regrowth of a surviving cancer cell population and induce cancer stem cell enrichment. This inflammatory response will lead to the development of a metastatically competent, treatment resistant cancer cell phenotype in the cancer cells that survive the treatment.
Based on our discovery of the specific triggers of this process, Encyt has focused on the development of therapeutic options to disrupt this process at the time it is up-regulated as a rational treatment approach against cancer. Encyt has entered into a collaboration with a research group from Queen’s University where we have been conducting extensive animal studies using a unique and proprietary combination of therapeutic agents designed to disrupt the signaling pathways that we have identified as being important in facilitating this process. We have been able to achieve an impressive 90% reduction in the growth of a human primary pancreatic cancer in mouse xenografts as compared with chemotherapy alone and significantly limit the development of metastatic disease and drug resistance. We have also shown even greater efficacy in the treatment of human ovarian and breast cancer using our novel treatment approach in xenografts.
Given the outstanding success that we have seen in our experimental approach in xenografts, Encyt has filed with Health Canada a proposal to test our therapeutic approach in a phase 1/2 clinical trial in patients with pancreatic cancer. Given the incurable nature of this deadly disease and the lack of effective treatment options in these patients, we have decided to focus our initial efforts on this most difficult to treat malignancy anticipating fewer regulatory hurdles in gaining trial approval. We think our treatment approach may prove effective in a variety of malignancies, but for now we are focusing our efforts on this very difficult to treat and highly lethal malignancy.
Encyt’s main focus at present is to test our novel and proprietary therapeutic approach in a human clinical trial. However, based on our research discoveries, Encyt has also started to work in the area of liquid biopsy. We are developing a blood test that can predict the effectiveness of a given chemotherapeutic regimen on the basis of the level of expression of several distinct cytokines. We believe this work has enormous potential to serve as a valuable predictive tool to help guide treatment decisions made by medical oncologists.
Encyt is funded through a small group of angel investors, as well as support from various government and philanthropic organizations. In early 2017, Encyt hopes to initiate its first human clinical trial for treatment of pancreatic cancer. The company is currently seeking additional funds for expansion of human clinical trials and eventual commercialization or licensing. Additionally, new funds requested will be used to begin further development of our discoveries in the area of liquid biopsy.
Cancer Treatments Transform Residual Cancer Cell Phenotype
Revisiting Perioperative Chemotherapy: The Critical Importance of Targeting Residual Cancer Prior to Wound Healing
Patent Pending: "Prevention of Metastasis and Recurrence after Primary Cancer Treatment" (2015)