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Use of the TP5 Peptide for the Treatment of Cancer

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Increased cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) activity has recently emerged as a contributor to cancer progression. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have shown that TP5, a small peptide inhibitor of CDK5 modified to facilitate passage through the blood brain barrier (BBB), has potential therapeutic benefit in glioblastoma (GBM) and colorectal carcinoma (CRC). NCI is seeking parties interested in co-developing and/or licensing TP5 for its use in the treatment of cancers with aberrant CDK5 expression as a mono-therapy or in an adjuvant setting with current standard-of-care.
NIH Reference Number
Product Type
  • CDK5, Cyclin-dependent Kinase 5, Glioblastoma Multiforme, GBM, TP5, TFP5, Blood Brain Barrier, BBB, Colorectal Cancer, CRC, Zhuang
Collaboration Opportunity
This invention is available for licensing and co-development.
Description of Technology

GBM is the most aggressive form of brain cancer. The current standard of care against GBM is a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, after standard treatment, the cancer usually recurs – emphasizing a need for new targets and better alternatives. A promising target is cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5), the hyperactivity of which has been shown to have a role in cancer progression. 

TP5/TFP5, a small peptide inhibitor against CDK5, was developed at the National Institutes of Health and modified to increase its passage through the blood brain barrier. Researchers at the NCI and NINDS demonstrated that TP5 decreases cell viability and increases programmed cell death in GBM and CRC cell lines with aberrant CDK5 activity. TP5 was found to impair DNA repair by inhibiting CDK5 and acted additively and synergistically with DNA-damaging agents (e.g. temozolomide, irinotecan, irradiation) used in treatment of GBM and colon carcinoma. TP5 decreased the tumor volume and increased the overall survival of orthotopic glioblastoma mouse models.

The Neuro-Oncology Branch is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in licensing this invention to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize TP5 for novel treatment of GBM and/or other cancers with aberrant CDK5 expression.

Potential Commercial Applications
  • Treatment of GBM and other brain tumors with aberrant CDK5 expression
  • Treatment of other cancers with aberrant CDK5 expression, including CRC and lung cancer
  • The GBM market is expected to grow to >U$1B at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5%
  • The CRC market has risen to >US$8B at a CAGR of 3%
Competitive Advantages
  • TP5:
    • Decreases the tumor volume and the proliferation rate of GBM in mouse models
    • Can cross the blood-brain barrier, overcoming a major obstacle for the therapeutic agent development for GBM
    • Decreases the tumor volume in CRC mouse models
    • Additive as well as synergistic with the current standard of care
  • CDK5:
    • CDK5 expression and activity are deregulated in cancer cells; because CDK5 is not a tumor-associated mutation, the role of CDK5 in cancer has been underappreciated until recently – meaning less competition
    • Roscovitine, another CDK inhibitor, was shown to delay resistance to temozolomide – the only approved drug for GBM

Zhengping Zhuang M.D., Ph.D. (NCI), Emeline Tabouret MD, Ph.D. (NCI), Herui Wang Ph.D. (NCI), Harish Pant Ph.D. (NINDS), Niranjana Amin Ph.D. (NINDS)

Development Stage

Tabouret E, et al. TP5, a peptide inhibitor of aberrant and hyperactive CDK5/p25: a novel therapeutic approach against glioblastoma.  [Oxford Academic]

Binukumar BK, et al. TFP5/TP5 peptide provides neuroprotection in the MPTP model of Parkinson’s disease.  [PMID: 27335538]

Binukumar BK, et al. Peptide TFP5/TP5 derived from Cdk5 activator P35 provides neuroprotection in the MPTP model of Parkinson’s disease.  [PMID: 26399293]

Patent Status
  • PCT: PCT Application Number US2019/061251, Filed 13 Nov 2019, Filed 14 Nov 2018
Related Technologies
  • E-144-2010
Therapeutic Area
Tuesday, October 6, 2020