suppresSTEM consortium

Welcome to the homepage of suppresSTEM

suppresSTEM was an EU funded project that ran from June 2013 until December 2016. The suppresSTEM consortium was formed to develop therapeutic antibodies that effectively target and eliminate chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem cells as well as establishing and validating a drug screening platform based on patient derived tumor tissue.

The suppresSTEM consortium consisted of five participants; Merus N.V. as the coordinator (The Netherlands), The Hubrecht Institute (The Netherlands), OcellO B.V. (The Netherlands), Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona, Spain) and The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (UK). The consortium received a 6-million euro funding package from the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Union.

The goal of suppresSTEM was twofold; the generation of a novel antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) and the collection of genetically annotated patient-derived CRC organoids for drug screening using novel tools developed in the project. Both objectives were achieved. The efforts within suppresSTEM lead to the generation and characterization of the bispecific antibody MCLA-158, which binds to cancer stem cells and is being developed as a treatment for colorectal cancer and other solid tumors. MCLA-158 has been shown to significantly inhibit tumor growth both in vitro and in vivo in organoid based assays. The suppresSTEM consortium also demonstrated the value of applying high content imaging to the complex patient-derived organoid tissue providing a rich new tool for drug discovery that will help reduce the high clinical failure rate in cancer drug research and also reduce dependency on the use of small animal models in drug discovery.

The collaborators in the suppresSTEM consortium continue to work together to advance the results of the project and in some cases have initiated new projects. Further enquiries into the research, products and tools generated within the consortium are most welcome.