rSIFN-co is a potential cancer therapy that Sichuan Huiyang Life Science and Technology Corporation is developing to treat several types of advanced solid tumors.

How rSIFN-co works

rSIFN-co, or recombinant super-compound interferon, is an artificial form of a molecule called interferon (IFN)-alpha that combats cancer.

IFN-alpha is a cytokine, or protein that facilitates communication between cells and their environment by binding to receptors on the cells’ surface.

IFN-alpha combats cancer in a number of ways. It stops cancer cells’ multiplication, stimulates the immune system to destroy the cells, and prompts cancer cells to send chemical signals that attract immune system cells.

To make rSIFN-co, Sichuan Huiyang changed the three-dimensional structure of IFN-alpha in a laboratory. The new molecule has IFN-alpha’s mode of action, but is more effective against cancer cells and has fewer side effects.

rSIFN-co in clinical trials

Sichuan Huiyang, which is based in Chengdu City, China, started a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT02387307) of rSIFN-co in March 2015 at several centers in Singapore. Two of its goals were to determine the therapy’s safety and cancer patients’ ability to tolerate it. Another goal was to come up with a recommended dose of rSIFN-co for a Phase 2 trial of the therapy’s ability to treat advanced cancers, including those of the lungs, kidneys, skin, liver, and colon.

The company presented the results at the Inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival in September 2015. Researchers determined the recommended dose to be 24 micrograms three times a week for 21 days, followed by seven days before another treatment. A microgram is a millionth of a gram.

In terms of effectiveness, researchers discovered that rSFN-co generated modest anti-cancer activity in patients who had already received several other treatments. Most adverse effects were mild.

Another Phase 1 trial (NCT02464007) is investigating rSIFN-co in patients with advanced cancer of the skin, kidneys, lungs, colon, rectum, prostate, or neuroendocrine system. It is evaluating the therapy’s safety, over-all effect on the body, and ability to respond to cancer. Researchers are looking at three doses to determine an optimal treatment level. The study started in June 2015. It is still recruiting participants at three U.S. locations.

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Joana Cavaco Silva BNS Writer
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Joana Cavaco Silva BNS Writer