FerroptoCure Science

1.Our Research

FerroptoCure Inc, is a company that develops next-generation anticancer drugs and other therapeutic drugs based on scientific evidence. Our pipeline focuses on ferroptosis. Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent cell death induced by oxidative stress and is revealed to be involved in the occurrence and progression of various diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, etc.), and hepatitis (NASH). In particular, recent studies have shown that controlling ferroptosis is strongly involved in the occurrence, progression, and metastasis of cancers. We aim to deliver new anticancer drugs to cancer patients by developing the technology to control ferroptosis.

We are developing drugs using various technologies such as next-generation sequencing, data informatics, and in silico analysis, as well as joint research with leading research institutes such as universities conducting cutting-edge research.

2.Cancer and Ferroptosis

The accumulate of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and other reactive oxygen species in cancer cells due to metabolism or anticancer drugs, which oxidizes unsaturated fatty acids to accumulate lipid peroxides and induce ferroptosis. On the other hand, cancer cells utilize reduced glutathione (GSH), an antioxidant, to reduce lipid peroxides generated by reactive oxygen species and suppress ferroptosis. This involves proteins and enzymes such as cystine/glutamate transporter (xCT) and glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4). Ferroptosis-inducing therapies targeting these antioxidant mechanisms are attracting attention as a new cancer treatment strategy. In particular, cancer cells resistant to current approved anticancer drugs are known to be highly sensitive to ferroptosis, and inducing ferroptosis is strongly expected as a next-generation cancer treatment strategy.

3.FerroptoCure Technology focus on the collapse of mechanism to control ferroptosis

The xCT subunit of the cystine-glutamate exchange transporter, which is often highly expressed in cancer cells, has the function of incorporating cystine into cells, which is the raw material for reduced glutathione, an antioxidant. Therefore, it is well known that inhibiting xCT induces ferroptosis, and it is considered one of the promising targets for cancer treatment.

We have already conducted clinical trials using xCT inhibitors, and we have reported that in advanced lung cancer, the progression-free survival can be significantly prolonged by combining xCT inhibitor with chemotherapy (Cancer Sci. 2017).

Furthermore, we have elucidated the mechanism to acquire resistance to xCT. This has enabled us to induce ferroptosis even in cancers cells which is resistant to xCT inhibitors. We will develop anticancer drugs using this mechanism and technology and work towards building a "cancer-free society".

We are also promoting a project to apply this technology to companion animals. Through the development of anticancer drugs that can be used in humans, we have succeeded in creating drugs with high efficacy and safety. Therefore, we thought, can we make this drug useful for companion animals suffering from cancer? The aging of animals is progressing and deaths from cancer are increasing. On the other hand, anticancer drugs for animals are quite limited at present. We are promoting development with the words "One Health" in our hearts to create treatments that do not make humans and animals suffer from cancer.