FERNAND GOBEIL JR

Towards the Development of a New Class of Anti-GPCR Antibodies for the Treatment of Aggressive Cancers

Challenge: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent attractive biomarkers and therapeutic target classes in cancer research because their aberrant expression and activity are closely correlated with different stages of tumour initiation and progression. The development of small molecule anticancer drugs targeting GPCRs has so far proven to be quite challenging. Thus, there remains a need to identify new approaches to treating cancer with GPCR-targeted drugs.

Solution: One approach investigated in this project was to develop next generation therapeutic antibodies capable of modulating GPCR signaling. Researchers from the University of Sherbrooke are combining their expertise in GPCR signaling, drug discovery and cancer biology, with that of scientists from Immune Biosolutions (IBio), a Québec biotech specializing in the production of chicken antibodies, to generate novel GPCR-directed antibodies, targeting malignant human cancers. Candidate GPCR targets for cancer therapy include the kinin B1 receptor and the neurotensin 1 receptor. The proposed project focuses on the development of therapeutic antibody drugs against these targets, to treat several types of cancer, including prostate, breast, lung and colorectal.

Expected Achievements/Impact: This project aims to enable the development of GPCR-targeted therapeutics and to validate the platform as a bona fide drug discovery strategy. This research will provide the basis for future Investigational New Drug or IND-studies, required to conduct a clinical trial.

Principal Investigator:

Fernand Gobeil Jr
Université de Sherbrooke

Co-investigators

Philippe Sarret
Université de Sherbrooke

Fernand-Pierre Gendron
Université de Sherbrooke

Simon Gaudreau
Immune Biosolutions

Ongoing Project
$887,685 / 2 years
Supported by CQDM through:
• MESI
And by co-funding partners:
• Immune Biosolutions
• Société de recherche sur le cancer
• Transfertech
• Mitacs
• Faculté de médecine et sciences de la santé
• Centre de recherche CHUS