Telomerase Promoter - Cancer Therapies

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Telomerase Promoter - Cancer Therapies
Telomerase Promoter - Cancer Therapies

University: University of Glasgow

Sector(s): Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences

About Opportunity:

Improving suicide-gene therapy for the treatment of cancer.

The University of Glasgow has developed a telomerase targeted adenoviral suicide-gene therapy vector (Ad-hTR-NTR) which has been extensively tested on Ovarian cancer cells.

Suicide-gene therapy aims to selectively target cancer cells without harming normal cells thus reducing the toxicity associated with conventional therapies.

To achieve this selectivity, gene therapy approaches require mechanisms to regulate and limit the expression of therapeutic genes to cancer cells .Achieving this aim remains a challenge for the development of clinically useful suicide gene-therapy.

In-vitro/in-vivo experiments against ovarian cancer cells have confirmed that this construct provides efficient cancer cell kill whilst minimising harmful effects on normal cells.

Key Benefits:

  • In-vitro / In-vivo data demonstrates the benefits of the hTR telomerase gene to effectively regulate the expression of genes to activate cytotoxic compounds in cancer cells and not normal cells.
  • hTR Telomerase regulated pro-drug therapies could provide safe and therapeutically enhanced pro-drug treatments that target cancer cells whilst leaving normal cells unaffected.
  • Ovarian human cancer cell lines showed specific enhancement of the cytotoxic effects of CB1954 on cancer cells with the adenovirus / hTR / NTR construct.


Tumour-specific gene promoters can be used for transcriptional targeting to improve selectivity and increase therapeutic index. However until recently this has been difficult as many tumour specific promoters show weak transcriptional activity and are unable to drive efficient expression of the therapeutic gene. In addition, the promoter activity is often restricted to one tumour type for example HER2/NEU positive is limited to use with breast cancer.

IP Status:

This technology is available as an Easy Access deal, available to companies and individuals to license for FREE.


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