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Realizing the Full Potential of Vascular Targeted Therapy In Orphan Oncology Indications

About Vascular Targeted Therapies

Vascular targeted therapies (VTTs) are agents that target tumor vasculature. VTTs are classified into 2 categories: those that inhibit angiogenesis, and those that directly interfere with tumor vasculature.

Agents that inhibit angiogenesis are referred to as anti-angiogenics (AAs), several of which are FDA approved and widely used in cancer treatment today. Conversely, agents that directly interfere with tumor vasculature are referred to as vascular disrupting agents (VDAs), such as the investigational drugs Mateon Therapeutics is developing.

While distinct, these 2 approaches have complementary mechanisms of action. VDAs lead to ischemia-induced necrosis of interior tumor cells but may spare some tumor cells on the outer rim of the tumor. These residual rim cells derive nutrients and their blood supply from surrounding normal vasculature and can subsequently repopulate the tumor supported by the process of angiogenesis. Conversely, AAs block angiogenesis and therefore also block the potential tumor regeneration from the residual rim cells that could occur following VDA treatment. Thus, utilizing VDAs and AAs in combination has been observed to destroy blood vessels in the interior of the tumor while preventing the formation of new tumor blood vessels. Preclinical and initial clinical data support the therapeutic potential of utilizing VDAs combined with AAs in a range of tumor types.

At Mateon, we believe that by combining these 2 complementary approaches, VTT can realize its full potential and cancer treatment may be significantly improved.