The project has identified potent small molecule inhibitors of the HSF1 pathway. HSF1 is a key non-oncogene addiction target and regulates responses to protein aggregation and misfolding by increasing the expression of heat shock proteins. HSF1 supports tumour initiation, progression and metastasis and is increasingly activated during malignant transformation and progression. A druggable cavity has yet to be identified for HSF1 and the project has utilised a novel cell based screening approach to identify starting chemical matter. The project has achieved high levels of efficacy in in vivo proof of concept cancer models.
The project has a very strong competitive position and intellectual property portfolio. Undisclosed target cancer indications have been identified with high annual sales potential in areas of unmet need.
CPF acquired worldwide rights to the project in August 2015 and partnered it with Nuvectis in May 2021.