Edit note: there is an update for this story.
According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, a team of scientists working for Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. in Israel believe that they will cure cancer within one year.
Dan Aridor, who owns the company, said:
Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market. Our solution will be both generic and personal.
I’m not quite sure what this means… Generic and personal? That’s vaguely specific.
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They’re calling their drug “MuTaTo”, which stands for multi-target toxin. According to the J Post:
The potentially game-changing anti-cancer drug is based on SoAP technology, which belongs to the phage display group of technologies. It involves the introduction of DNA coding for a protein, such as an antibody, into a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria. That protein is then displayed on the surface of the phage. Researchers can use these protein-displaying phages to screen for interactions with other proteins, DNA sequences and small molecules.
In 2018, a team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for their work on phage display in the directed evolution of new proteins – in particular, for the production of antibody therapeutics.
AEBi is doing something similar but with peptides, compounds of two or more amino acids linked in a chain. According to Morad, peptides have several advantages over antibodies, including that they are smaller, cheaper, and easier to produce and regulate.
They went on to explain that while most cancer researchers are looking for individual peptides for individual cancers, they wanted to “something bigger.”
Dr. Ilan Morad, who is the CEO of Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies, compared the MuTaTo treatment regimen to AIDS patients. Instead of administering just one drug at a time to treat AIDS, we administer a cocktail of drugs that affects the HIV virus in different stages of its replication process, essentially stopping it in its tracks. Morad said that the new drug they’re developing will work in a similar fashion.
They go on to explain that the MuTaTo drug will target all cancers, and will require a biopsy of the cancer to be sent to the lab so they can analyze which receptors are overexpressed. From there, the patient would be prescribed the right cocktail to treat their cancer.
In other related news: climate change will be solved in two years, flying cars will be ubiquitous in 5 years, and we’ll be able to reverse the aging process in 10 years.
You can trust me, because I’m saying words on the internet.
Look, I want this to be true. I don’t know of a single rational person who doesn’t want this to be true. But there’s no way that it’s actually true.
I’m not calling them liars, I’m just suggesting that maaaaybe the researchers got better results than they initially expected, and ran to the media with it a bit too quickly. I don’t doubt that the owner and the CEO of this company are working tirelessly to find a new treatment, but… come on guys. You’re not fooling anybody.
They’re presenting a lot of this information as if it’s brand new. It’s not. The idea of using a phage display to treat a variety of diseases has been around for over twenty years. While they may have found a successful application for their new drug, this is nothing more than an advertisement for their product, likely with the goal of finding investors to give them more money.
How do we know that this is all hype? Look at the very end of the J Post article:
Morad said that so far, the company has concluded its first exploratory mice experiment, which inhibited human cancer cell growth and had no effect at all on healthy mice cells, in addition to several in-vitro trials. [Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies] is on the cusp of beginning a round of clinical trials which could be completed within a few years and would make the treatment available in specific cases.
So they haven’t even started clinical trials. They’ve done one experiment on mice (which are called in vivo – “in the living” experiments), and multiple tests in a petri dish (in vitro – “in glass” experiments). This is yawn-worthy in its current state. Lots of things kill cancer in a petri dish. A bullet, soap, bleach, and heat can all kill cancer cells in a petri dish. I will go on the record now as discouraging any and all readers from using a bullet, soap, bleach, an oven or other common household items to treat or cure any disease, not just cancer.
There’s also the whole issue of them “not publishing their research” that indicates this is an advertisement for investors more than anything else.
I would love to be wrong about this. If that happens, I will gladly post an apology for being so cynical. But innovation is almost always gradual and linear in nature, rather than having huge breakthroughs and jumps in information.
It does raise an interesting issue for anti-Semites though, as noted by the top comment on the J Post article: