Partnering opportunity

A new pharma candidate that Inhibits the formation of metastases


A UK University has identified that sucralose can reduce the permeability of capillary walls, preventing the spread of cancer cells via the bloodstream, and inhibit the formation of blood vessels in new tissue, restricting tumour growth. It seeks partners to clinically trial and commercialise the product under at commercial agreement with technical assistance, a license agreement or a research cooperation agreement.

Partner sought

The university are seeking a commercial partner to take the work forward, with the aim of licensing or selling the IP as it moves towards a clinical trial


This UK University has been researching new ways to slow the spread of tumorous cancers. There has been significant past research to confirm that the spread of cancer through metastasis formation is a major cause of death. Malignant cancer cells can cross the endothelial barrier into blood vessels enabling them to move around the body from a primary location and spread to a secondary location, where they cross the endothelial barrier again and enter tissue. When cancer cells reach the secondary location, they produce a signalling protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that promotes the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), providing the oxygen and nutrients needed to support the metastatic tumour. VEGF also increases leak across the endothelium therefore promoting the spread of cancer cells through the body. The prognosis for patients with metastasis is poor and there is thus a great need to develop effective treatments to prevent the formation and growth of metastatic tumours. Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose reduce the permeability of the capillary walls which can be caused by the tumour. Research has demonstrated that sucralose reduces tube formation and vascular leak in the endothelium. The next stage of the project will establish how this protective effect extends to the tumour vasculature. Experiments with co cultures of primary endothelial, metastatic and non-metastatic cancer cell lines will be performed to demonstrate the extent to which artificial sweeteners can: 1. Strengthen the endothelium to reduce the movement of cancer cells 2. Limit the growth of new vessels in a tumour environment by blocking angiogenic processes. These studies will take 2 years to complete and require funding for a laboratory researcher and consumables at a cost of £250,000. The university would like to find partners to clinically trial and commercialise the product either under a licensing agreement or commercial agreement with technical assistance or a research cooperation agreement.

Advantages and innovations

The anticipated outcomes of the research will show that T1R3 agonists (a shared subunit of both the sweet taste receptor (T1R2+T1R3) and umami taste receptor (T1R1+T1R3)) protect against metastatic conditions by improving barrier integrity concomitant with reduced movement of cancer cells across the barrier (decreased metastasis). Further studies are expected to show that T1R3 agonists limit angiogenic processes caused by metastatic conditions, thereby blocking the development of tumours. Finally, studies will indicate the role of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) in regulating these protective effects and indicate the role of specific MMPs in mediating this protective effect of artificial sweeteners. Taken together, these data will demonstrate the potential for sucralose, and other artificial sweeteners, to improve outcomes for patients with metastasis

Development stage

Under development/lab tested

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

Register your interest

How it works

  • Tell us about yourself
  • We’ll discuss with you
  • We put the right partners in touch

EEN help you find the right partner, rather than you going it alone.

Our role is to review and collate the most suitable submissions, and then send them to the client who posted the opportunity. We consult with you, and the client, to make the process professional and easy.

These are live opportunities. Your registration of interest on the site is just like a professional approach to a business at a networking event. To stand the best chance of success, make your submission really sing. Sell why the client who posted the opportunity should work with you. Excite them. Ask questions. Try and avoid copy and pasting words from elsewhere.

Once the client has chosen their partner, we'll introduce them over email and keep in touch with both parties to see how it's going. Sometimes things progress quickly. Sometimes because of changing priorities for either party, things progress slowly, but you never know - your next big business break could start right here.

?What value does EEN add?
This is your pitch: remember to include your unique selling points (USP) and why someone would want to do business with you
Tell us why you are a good fit for this opportunity, and why you think you're the right people for this partnership
If there's anything additional, or commercially sensitive you'd like to know about this opportunity, please let us know

When you entered your email address above, we emailed you a code to verify you're human and have access to that account.

?What's this?

What next?

To finish up, we just need some extra details about you and your company