SILC (S100A9 Inhibition by Low molecular weight Compounds) is a first-in-class preclinical immuno-oncology project focused on S100A9 as the target molecule.

S100A9, an inflammation-associated protein, is expressed in the tumor microenvironment and contributes to the development of cancer. Specifically, S100A9 recruits and activates myeloid immune cells, for example myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), into the tumor. These MDSCs counteract the T cells’ ability to attack and eradicate the tumor. S100A9 is also involved in the establishment of pre-metastatic niches and in the formation of new blood vessels, which provide nutrition and oxygen into the growing tumor.

The SILC project – small molecules that block the function of S100A9 – represents a new approach in helping the body’s immune system to fight cancer.

S100A9 promotes tumor progression via multiple pathways. Illustration adapted from Riehl et al., Cell Communic Signal, 2009

Lead compounds have been identified in a high-throughput screening program and further optimized for oral administration and tolerability.

Patent applications have been filed for the purpose of obtaining patent protection for three chemically unrelated compound groups. To date, two of the three patent families have been granted patents in Europe and in the United States.

Active Biotech is seeking a collaboration partner for the project. The right license partner is welcome to join in already at this stage to ensure that the continued development is optimized.

Targeting S100A9 in cancer