Hercules is a biopharmaceutical company developing an innovative, oral, non-toxic drug therapy for chronic treatment of patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, and other solid tumors.
We have found evidence that blocking the Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor in solid tumors could
- Enhance the response of the immune system to cancer
- Reduce the chance of future relapses by reducing the number of Cancer Stem Cells
- Reduce metastatic behavior
- Reduce agression of existing cancer
- Make cancer cells more sensitive to standard chemotherapy
Hercules have discovered novel anti-cancer drugs that block the Aryl Hydrocarbon receptor and is now testing these products in preparation for clinical trials.
Apart from breast cancer, Hercules' approach has potential as treatment of other agressive solid tumors that highly express AhR, like glioblastoma, colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women affecting 1 in 8 woman during their lifetime. Approximately 80% of breast cancer patients express one or more of three critical mediators of cell growth: the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor, and the HER2/Neu epidermal growth factor receptor 2.
These patients can now be treated with drugs that target one of these receptors. However, approximately 20% of patients do not express these receptors. They have so-called “Triple Negative Breast Cancer”, and their only treatment option is non-specific chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
Many Triple Negative Breast Cancer patient have high expression of AhR and could potentially benefit from treatment with AhR inhibitors. Apart from stimulating anti-tumor immune responses, AhR inhibitors may also reduce cancer stem cells, which in many cases cause relapse, even after "successful" treatment.