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Israeli-developed “multi-target toxin” treatment a complete cure for cancer?

Feb 05 2019 | 02:17 pm

Jerusalem: A “multi-target toxin” treatment developed by an Israeli company has raised doubts about its claimed capability to completely cure cancer. Codeveloper and the company’s CEO Ilan Morad voiced his confidence about its effect and prospects in a recent interview with Xinhua.

A Jan. 28 report by The Jerusalem Post quoted Dan Aridor, chairman of the 18-year-old company Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), as saying: “We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer.”

“Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market,” and the solution “will be both generic and personal,” he added.

Morad told Xinhua that they think the new treatment called MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) could cure cancer because a combination of several cancer-targeting peptides is used against each cancer cell while being combined with a strong peptide toxin to kill cancer cells specifically.

At least three targeting peptides on the same structure with a strong toxin are used, he further explained about the new treatment, which he said he is “sure will not be affected by mutations.”

So far, anti-cancer drugs would fail when mutations in the targeted cancer cells make them ineffective. “Our strategy is attacking the cancer by several attacks combined together. It is easy to get one mutation for the cancer cell, but for instance to get three mutations at the same time, simultaneously, this is difficult for a cancer cell, actually it is impossible,” Morad said.

With a small office and a laboratory, AEBi is based in the central Israel town of Ness Ziona. The company has two researchers, Morad said, and the small team has not yet submitted paper on their new anti-cancer drug to any medical publication.

They have reported the research to Drug Discovery Innovation Program conferences and people there were “very enthusiastic about our results and about our idea,” he said.

“We do not want (to publish papers) before we have a strong IP like patents,” Morad said.

Morad said AEBi has finished first exploratory mice experiments and achieved good results.

“We are doing experiments with our drugs on cancer cells and on little animals, mice. We are not in the clinical phase. We don’t test it on humans yet,” Morad said.

Morad said he hopes the company will soon secure funding and a partnership so that they can start clinic trials within a year.

“We are not waiting until we have an approved drug because this can take seven to 10 years,” Morad added. “If we get the right budget, we can advance fast.”

MuTaTo, however, is challenged by other Israeli experts.

Skeptics said it is “pretty surprising” for them to hear about such a “bombastic” claim of finding a 100-percent cancer killer.

Some demanded scientific paper publications and convincing trial results, or noted that it usually takes years and many experiments in animals and people before a cure can become commercial.

From the scientific literature, it seems that neither the company nor its researchers ever published a scientific paper demonstrating the validity and ability of their technology to inhibit cancer, said Rotem Karni, a professor with the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine, in an interview with Xinhua.

“A major step in every new technology and drug to treat patients is an extensive examination of the toxicity of the new drug,” said Karni, while noting that the clinical steps for the approval of a new drug take several years, usually in three phases to test its safety, toxicity and efficacy.

So far in the cancer treatment field, he said, “There are no approved drugs which are peptides. One possible problem with peptides is that an immune response can be developed against the peptides and reduce the efficacy of such treatment.”

Shlomo Lewkowicz, head of an Israeli non-governmental organization for the prevention of colorectal cancer, said it sounds “unrealistic” to advance from mice to human experiments, and such a promise is “premature.”

It will take a few years and will require a huge investment, and there have been many “dream drugs” failing to function as expected when tested in human beings, he said.

Panipokhari

Kathmandu, Nepal

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