Curie-Cancer and French biopharmaceutical firm DNA Therapeutics have renewed their partnership to provide a new class of therapeutic cancer products to patients, including those resistant to conventional therapies.

DT01 is the first molecule developed using on Dbait technology under the partnership between Curie-Cancer and DNA Therapeutics.

At present, DT01 is being evaluated in combination with radiation therapy, in a Phase I clinical study for about 20 patients with cutaneous metastatic chemotherapy-resistant melanoma.

According to the initial results, Dbait technology is effective against cancers that are resistant to conventional therapies, including advanced-stage melanoma.

Results have demonstrated that DT01 is effective and well-tolerated in combination with radiation therapy, and also has a high potential for development, pending validation by other early phase clinical trials, particularly in combination with chemotherapy for advanced-stage cancer.

The complete full results from the Phase I clinical trial are expected to be released in 2015.

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Curie-Cancer is the body responsible for developing Institut Curie’s industry partnership activities. It said that cancer cells can easily repair damage incurred in their DNA from conventional therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Institut Curie CNRS research director Marie Dutreix said: "In addition to being effective, the therapeutic approach should also be non-toxic to healthy cells.

"Instead of targeting a specific enzyme of a repair pathway, Dbait works upstream of all repair pathways with regards to detecting damage caused by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

"By disrupting the localisation of the site of this damage, Dbait prevents any repair and kills cancer cells when they divide."

"By disrupting the localisation of the site of this damage, Dbait prevents any repair and kills cancer cells when they divide."

In order to support the clinical research programme, both parties will focus on further understanding of the Dbait mechanisms of action, to better explain the lack of toxicity of these inhibitors on normal tissue.

Under the deal, the companies will characterise the most responsive tumours, as well as the most efficacious combinations with standard therapies to prepare for future clinical trials.

The partnership will also look into identifying potential resistance mechanisms and predictive biomarkers for responding to Dbait as well as develop second-generation Dbait molecules with improved pharmacokinetic properties.

Curie-Cancer director Damien Salauze said: "This is another example of the values enshrined in the Institut Carnot label we received from the French Government in 2011 for our commitment to providing practical solutions for our industry partners and ultimately, for patients."

Image: Cancers that are resistant to conventional therapies can be treated with Dbait technology. Photo: courtesy of