The Story of A14
Nanocare Technologies, Inc was founded in 2010 on the back of nearly 15 years of research and development by cofounder / CSO José Emilio (“Milo”) Fehr Pereira Lopes MD, PhD on an analog of methyl jasmonate as an anti-cancer therapeutic.
Methyl jasmonate is a naturally-occurring plant molecule that exhibits very low toxicity and high, broad anti-cancer activity on many models of blood cancers and solid tumors. Methyl jasmonate’s potential as an anti-cancer drug has attracted the keen interest of many scientists. Dr. Ernest Flescher at The Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies (Tel Aviv University) was a leading expert who elucidated the remarkable properties of methyl jasmonate to disrupt cell division (apoptosis) and starve energy-hungry cancer cells of vital nutrients (anti-angiogenic).1, 2, 3
Despite its great promise, Dr. Flescher’s work was hindered by the fact that the human body degrades methyl jasmonate so rapidly, that it cannot reach cancer cells in sufficiently high concentrations to be effective.
Starting with an analog of methyl jasmonate, Nanocare’s founding scientist Dr. Lopes developed a highly innovative nano-engineering approach to improve the biological absorptive properties of the parent compound. This is Nanocare’s lead drug compound A14. Like its parent compound, recent studies have shown that A14 is (1) non-toxic in cells and in animals; (2) preserves the anti-cancer properties of the parent compound against many types of cancers; but (3) significantly enhances bioavailability, as desired.
There are a handful of new drugs in the pipeline to treat the blood cancer acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In the past 40 years, there have been no significant advances in AML therapy to improve patient outcomes. Patients and their families are waiting anxiously for the next Gleevec®, the drug that transformed the diagnosis of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) from a death sentence into a chronic disease – and became a billion-dollar drug.
Nanocare is building a team of experts to develop A14 initially for AML. The company’s virtual development operations are in the US, augmented by continuing discovery in Brazil.
1 - Fingrut et al Br J Pharm 2009; Fingrut and Flescher 2009
2 - Cohen and Flescher 2009
3 - Flescher (Cancer Lett) 2007