TargetsEvgen is focused on developing products to tackle diseases where there is a high unmet need. Working with many collaborators, the company is investigating the therapeutic effect of sulforaphane on a number of molecular targets that are highly relevant in a wide range of solid tumours, haematological cancers and inflammatory and fibrotic challenges.
Evgen’s current research exploits sulforaphane’s activity in the following three distinct disease-relevant cellular pathways.
STAT3 and pSTAT3
STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) and phospho STAT3 (pSTAT3) has importance in controlling cancer metastases. Malfunction in these pathways has been implicated in a number of cancers including breast cancer. Research is ongoing into the role of SFX-01 and its inhibition of STAT3/ pSTAT3 in relation to the development of resistance to other therapeutic options.
Nrf2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) is a transcription factor that is associated with a broad range of diseases characterised by excessive oxidative stress. Nrf2 regulates many target genes including those used in encoding proteins involved in the cellular antioxidant response, damage repair, protein homeostasis and maintenance of metabolic balance. SFX-01 inactivates a protein associated with regulating Nrf2, known as KEAP1 (Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1), allowing accumulation of Nrf2 and an increase in expression of target genes, potentially improving the cellular response to inflammatory and fibrotic challenges.
SHP2 (Src homology-2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-2) is involved in several cancer-related processes, including cancer cell invasion and metastasis, apoptosis, DNA damage, cell proliferation, cell cycle and drug resistance. SHP2 may therefore be a therapeutic target of great potential. In-vitro and in-vivo data demonstrates that SFX-01 modifies SHP2, inhibiting its phosphatase activity which is implicated in many aspects of solid tumour and haematological cancers.