EUK-LPR has been designed to induce the growth of the non-tumoral liver following partial hepatectomy – a surgical resection of the liver. In industrialized countries, about 200,000 patients every year undergo partial hepatectomy, among which 50,000 have major hepatectomy. EUK-LPR aims to decrease the postoperative mortality following such major liver resection, which is around 5%-10%, even when performed by experienced surgeons.
Partial hepatectomy is frequently performed for the treatment of primary (e.g. hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, hepatoblastoma) or secondary (e.g. colorectal metastasis) liver cancers. Therefore, EUK-LPR must induce the growth of normal liver cells (i.e. the hepatocytes), but not of any tumor cells.This critical hurdle is settled by an innovative genetic solution integrated to the EUK-LPR synthetic DNA construction.
EUK-LPR is currently under preclinical studies, with excellent results in rats upon administration of its prototype. EUK-LPR toxicology studies are planned starting 2019 and clinical phase I/IIa in 2021-2022.