Advancing Treatment of Disease with Innovative protein therapeutics and Technologies

Advancing therapeutics against liver cancer

Liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally1. Surgery, including orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), remains the most effective treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)1, 2. Less than 30%3 of liver cancer patients are eligible for these surgeries.

When surgical removal of tumors is not an option, a range of chemotherapeutic drugs are used to manage liver cancer; however, when these drugs are delivered systemically they may result in unacceptable toxicity to other tissues and lead to serious side effects. Presently liver cancer is poorly managed with current chemotherapies. Better methods are needed to target chemotherapy drugs to cancer cells while leaving healthy tissues unharmed.

Our novel Protein Drug Conjugation technology is designed to target chemotherapy drugs to liver cells. This drug delivery platform takes advantage of the natural clearance pathway of hemoglobin predominantly through the liver. Hemoglobin is a blood protein that the body uses to transport oxygen to tissues. The body keeps a steady supply of this important protein by producing it in the bone marrow and metabolizing it in the liver.

By linking chemotherapeutic drugs to hemoglobin, the drugs may be effectively delivered to liver cells so they can act where they’re needed, but leave other, healthy tissues unaffected.


  1. Cao H, Phan H, Yang LX. Improved chemotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma. Anticancer Res. 2012;32(4):1379-86.
  2. Marin JJ, Castaño B, Martinez-Becerra P, et al. Chemotherapy in the treatment of primary liver tumours. Cancer Ther 2008;6:711-28.
  3. Delis SG, Dervenis C. Selection criteria for liver resection in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and chronic liver disease. World J Gastroenterol 2008;14(22): 3452-60.

To learn more about our areas of research, platform technologies and pipeline products, or to explore opportunities to partner and/or collaborate with us to improve existing therapeutics, please contact us at