Inducing Cell Death by Hyperactivation of Motility Networks

Case ID:
Disclosure Date:
Invention Novelty:
This technology is based on the discovery that hyper-activation of cellular motility networks can sensitize cancer cells to stressor to induce cell death. This is a novel method for the induction of cell death in cancers with mutations in motility pathways.
Value Proposition:
Therapeutic initiatives focused on single targets may fail to adequately address the highly complex and adaptable nature of cancers. Both government and industry-funded review articles point to an increased focus on cell or systems-based screens which reflect a mechanism of action for exploitation, rather than a target-based screen. This method was discovered in such a screens.
Advantages include:
  • The use of cholesterol-lowering statins as candidates to treat metastatic disease.
  • Selective killing of hyper-activated cells such as metastatic cancer cells
  • The effect has been observed to work on human cells in vitro          
Technical Overview:
Mutations in cell motility pathways involving PTEN, Ras, Rap, and PI3K are common in many cancers. The inventors’ work predicts that the upregulation of motility networks in metastatic cancer cells will sensitizes cells to selectively induced cancer cell death.  The invention uses engineered cells with defined mutations causing hyper-active motility as the basis for rapid, efficient, and inexpensive screens.  Initial screen led to the finding that cholesterol-lowering drug class called statins, such as pitavastatin, selectively induce cell death in hyper-activated cancer cells. By exploiting this effect, cancer cells with aberrant cell motility behaviors can be selectively targeted and killed while sparing healthy cells.
Stage of Development:
Preclinical. Accuracy validated on tissue samples. Sensitivity and specificity for predictive value determined.
None available
Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Inducing Cell Death by Hyperactivation of Motility Networks PCT: Patent Cooperation Treaty United States 16/080,975 8/29/2018     Pending
For Information, Contact:
Vera Sampels
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