Enabling a Complete Solution for Tumor Resection
A highly differentiated imaging agent with significant potential clinical, technical, and commercial advantages.
Surgery is the first line of treatment for many solid tumors, but traditional open surgery can be traumatic and costly. Minimally invasive (MIS) and robotic-assisted surgery are increasingly becoming standard of care because they offer multiple benefits, including decreased tissue trauma, pain, blood loss, length of hospital stays, and postoperative complications. However, these approaches often limit surgeons’ ability to see and remove all tumor tissue. Tissue that is not removed (aka positive margins) has been associated with negative outcomes in cancer patients, including poor survival.
VGT-309 could represent the missing piece for this emerging standard of care. VGT-309 is an investigational imaging agent that was designed using a cathepsin-targeting approach. We are studying the potential of this agent to provide advanced tumor visualization, which may help reduce the risk that cancerous tissue would be left behind during MIS procedures.
Given the breadth of patients who could benefit from improved, minimally invasive surgical approaches in lung cancer, Vergent Bioscience is initially evaluating VGT-309 in this solid tumor.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, with 236,740 new cases anticipated for 2022.
Approximately 25% of all U.S. lung cancer patients undergo lung cancer surgery, which can be a curative treatment if lung cancer is diagnosed early, and all tumor tissue is removed.
The standard of care for solid tumor surgery is shifting, with rates of minimally invasive, robotic-assisted, and sub-lobar tissue-sparing surgery increasing year.
Advanced imaging agents such as VGT-309 hold the promise of optimizing MIS and robotic-assisted surgery for patients with solid tumors.
2. American Cancer Society
3. Lu T, et al. "Trends in the incidence, treatment, and survival of patients with lung cancer in the last four decades," Cancer Manag Res. 2019 Jan 21;11:943-953. URL: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30718965/
While Vergent is initially pursuing a clinical program in lung cancer, VGT-309’s design provides considerable opportunities to improve surgery for patients diagnosed with other solid tumors, including colorectal, gastrointestinal, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. The estimated annual total number of surgeries worldwide for these additional indications is over 4M, representing a significant opportunity for VGT-309.
Vergent’s lead compound, VGT-309, is a tumor-targeted fluorescent imaging agent that enables surgeons to see previously undetected or difficult-to-find tumors in real-time, helping to ensure that all tumor tissue is removed during surgery. Vergent intentionally designed VGT-309 to fill existing deficits in tumor visualization.