Our Story

Cascade Prodrug is dedicated to furthering the development of its proprietary hypoxia-activated switch technology to improve the therapeutic options for patients with solid tumor indications with our lead candidate CPD100Li.

Within the United States, roughly 35% of cancer patients will be diagnosed with a solid tumor cancer. There are dozens of solid tumor cancers that are difficult to treat- prostate, cervical, pancreatic, non-small cell lung cancer, and head & neck cancers. To date, conventional chemotherapies have been unable to effectively treat these cancers.

The primary reason for the limited success of traditional therapies for solid tumors is due to the complex solid tumor microenvironment. As solid tumors grow, they develop abnormal vasculatures characterized by low oxygen levels and a lack of nutrients. These slow growing cell populations are hallmarks of solid tumors and are both difficult to reach and difficult to kill by current standards of care.

We believe CPD100Li’s profile represents a novel development candidate as a stand-alone targeted therapy, as well as a possible combination partner for chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

Cascade Prodrug’s novel approach has been designed to take advantage of one of the well-characterized and common features of solid tumor tissue — tumor hypoxia. 

CPD100Li – Lead Candidate

Cascade Prodrug employs a platform technology that has led to the discovery of our lead candidate, CPD100Li. CPD100Li is a proprietary N-oxide prodrug of vinblastine, an approved cytotoxic vinca-alkaloid.. CPD100Li is stable at normal tissue O2 levels, but ‘switches’ to cytotoxic vinblastine under hypoxic conditions. By creating a novel on-off switch for vinblastine, we take advantage of tumor hypoxia and trigger drug conversion in the tumor where it’s needed, thus limiting the exposure of healthy tissue to a potent cytotoxic agent. Cascade Prodrug believes that this technology will significantly increase the maximum-tolerated-dose of vinblastine, thereby improving outcomes in patients with solid tumors.

Our studies have demonstrated that tumor cells grown in tissue culture are 25-times more susceptible to killing by CPD100Li when they are incubated under hypoxic conditions.