Side Effect Fly™
Tosk’s patented Side Effect Fly technology uses Drosophila as a model to screen compounds for their potential to prevent the adverse effects of existing cancer therapies. This technology enables Tosk to efficiently identify side-effect-blocking compounds that would be difficult and costly to discover using traditional methods.
Most cancer therapies have toxic side effects that limit their use and effectiveness. Furthermore, these side effects can adversely affect patients’ quality of life to the point that the therapy may be considered worse than the disease itself. In some cases, side effects limit the dosage and the duration of treatment. Furthermore, treating side effects can be costly. Reducing or eliminating side effects has the potential to lower the overall cost of care. Clearly, drugs that prevent the adverse effects of cancer therapies would be welcomed by the global medical community.
Genetically Modified Fly™
Tosk has also developed proprietary technology to insert human genes into Drosophila. These genetically modified flies are used to test compounds for their potential to block the activity of disease-causing genes.
The first application of Tosk’s Genetically Modified Fly technology targets the human kRAS oncogene. Mutated kRAS genes are found in many types of cancers, including 90% of pancreatic cancer, 45% of colon cancer, and 35% of lung cancer. These genes are known to promote tumor growth. kRAS genes also render cancer drugs known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors ineffective in approximately 40% of patients. Tosk has successfully developed a kRAS fly and is deploying it to discover and develop kRAS-blocking drugs.