In the field of oncology, 4SC researches and develops innovative mechanism of action especially for improving the long-term survival rate and quality of life of cancer patients.
With the aim of eliminating cancer, 4SC researches new compounds which target cancer stem cells (CSC) or tumour-initiating cells (TIC). Cancer stem cells are cells which have tumour-forming properties but also possess certain characteristics of non-malignant stem cells, including self-renewal and differentiation. Tumour stem cells are also highly resistant to conventional therapeutic approaches such as radiation therapy and treatment with traditional cytostatics. It is now believed that these cells are capable of initiating new tumours and are therefore responsible for metastasis and relapses.
A second focus of oncological research at 4SC is on small-molecule compounds which address so-called epigenetic targets. Some of these proteins catalyse the chemical modification of chromatin; in particular, the acetylation and deacetylation of histone proteins which regulate gene expression in the cell. Resminostat (4SC-201) inhibits important cellular histone deacetylases (HDAC). This can very efficiently induce programmed cell death in cancer cells. Cancer stem cells in particular demonstrate heightened sensitivity to such therapies.
The third pillar of oncological research at 4SC is based on the development of molecular therapy concepts in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Representatives of this class of compound activate the body’s own immune response and help to eliminate malignant cells in cancer patients. They work by stimulating so-called Toll-like receptors (TLR) through small-molecule activators. These compounds induce the secretion of innate inflammatory factors called cytokines, such as interferon-alpha (INF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), which have an anti-tumour effect.
Our Clinical Programmes
To find out more about our clinical programmes please visit our Product Pipeline section.