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The Science behind how Oncoprev™ Works

Savoy Pharmaceuticals has developed a highly specific monoclonal antibody for the safe, effective treatment of cancer that selectively targets diseased, cancerous tissue while leaving normal tissue unharmed. This revolutionary discovery is a major step in the war against cancer and we expect our products to increase the life expectancy and improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, killing more that 550,000 people per year. Current cancer treatments not only have serious adverse side effects, but also fall far short of achieving acceptable cure rates. According to the American Cancer Society the current 5-year survival rate for all cancers is approximately 60%, and the mortality rate has remained virtually unchanged since 1950.

The approach that Savoy Pharmaceuticals uses to treat cancer is called immunotherapy, which is a relatively new approach to cancer therapy using antibodies that have been specially made to specifically recognize cancerous cells and leave normal cells unharmed. Normally, our immune system performs its job remarkably well. Unfortunately many cancer cells tend to go unnoticed by the immune system because they originate from normal body cells. Despite the fact that they behave like foreign organisms within our bodies, cancer cells often do not elicit a significant immune response.

AntibodiesAntibodies are large molecules produced by white blood cells (B-lymphocytes) of the immune system (See Figure 1). Their function is to recognize and attach themselves to foreign cells and material harmful to our bodies, thereby marking them out for other components of the immune system to destroy. Humans makes billions of different types of antibodies, each designed to bind to a specific surface feature (the epitope or antigenic determinant) on the foreign body (the antigen).

ReceptorA century ago, Paul Ehrlich proposed that antibodies could be used as "magic bullets" to target and destroy human diseases (See Figure 2). Antibodies are the most commonly pursued type of cancer therapeutic today since they combine specificity (the ability to discriminate diverse harmful molecules) and affinity (the ability to tightly lock onto those targets) with the ability to recruit effector functions of the immune system such as complement-mediated cytolysis (CDC) and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC).

Complement Mediated Cytolysis (CDC)

CMCOne way that antibodies are able to kill cancer cells is by activating the complement system, which consists of a series of proteins that work to "complement" the work of antibodies in destroying cancer cells. Complement proteins circulate in the blood in an inactive form. The so-called "complement cascade" is set off when the first complement molecule, C1, encounters antibody bound to antigen in an antigen-antibody complex. Each of the complement proteins performs its specialized job in turn, acting on the molecule next in line. The end product is a cylinder that punctures the cell membrane and, by allowing fluids and molecules to flow in and out, destroys the target cell (See Figure 3).

Antibody-Dependent Cell-mediated Cytotoxicity (ADCC)

Another way that antibodies target cancer cells for destruction is by activating the effector or killer cells of the immune system. Cancer cells are not easy to detect by your immune system. Oncoprev works by acting as a biological "flag" to proteins which are only on the surface of cancer cells. This makes it easier for your immune system to find the cancer cells and destroy them. This process is called biological response therapy or immunotherapy. The treatment acts by stimulating your body's own ability to destroy cancer cells instead of relying on more toxic and less specific drugs. Thus Oncoprev is different and generally has less toxic side effects than standard chemotherapy.

CellsThe cells involved in ADCC include macrophages, natural killer cells, and neutrophils, which recognize antibody when it binds to the surface of cancer cells (See figure 4). In ADCC antibodies act as the 'kill' signal to the effector cells which kill the target cell by releasing pore-forming proteins called perforins, proteolytic enzymes called granzymes, and chemokines . Granzymes pass through the pores and activate the enzymes that lead to apoptosis, or natural cell death, of the cancer cell by means of destruction of its structural cytoskeleton proteins and by chromosomal degradation. As a result, the cell breaks into fragments that are subsequently removed by phagocytes. Perforins can also sometimes result in cell lysis.

The process of cell death leads to inflammation, an essential part of the immune response, and the recruitment of more helper and effector cells of the immune system including Th and Tc cells, which cascades into a healthy and complete immune response to remove all cancerous tissue from the patient. Thus Oncoprev™ rallies the immune system to help it to overcome cancer cells ability to evade detection, marking them for destruction and removal by the immune system.