Thinly traded micro cap VBL Therapeutics (VBLT +5.3%) perks up on modestly higher volume after the company announced new data on a novel potential cancer target called MOSPD2, a protein prevalent in breast cancer tissue correlated with more aggressive disease. The data are being presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, DC.
In a mouse model, the use of gene editing technology CRISPR/Cas9 knocked down MOSPD2 which led to a blockade of EGF signaling and a significant reduction of breast cancer cell migration and metastasis.
The company believes that targeting MOSPD2 may have several therapeutic applications, including inhibition of tumor cell metastases and targeting of MOSPD2-positive tumor cells, as well as inhibition of monocyte migration in chronic inflammatory conditions. VBL's "VB-600 series" of pipeline candidates is being developed towards these applications.