Dual Drugs

The unique cancer treatment line by DualTPharma – Dual CA IX inhibitors – offers breakthrough therapeutic improvements by building on one molecule with two active moieties with a double mechanism of action. The treatment approach increases the efficacy of ‘attacks’ on tumors, accelerating the pace at which tumors shrink and reducing the risk of metastasis.

The drug is made of two compounds:

Sulfamide that targets Carbonic Anhydrase IX, a receptor present in 50% of solid hypoxic tumors. Sulfamide increases acidity inside tumor cells – which has the effect of impairing tumor growth.

Nitroimidazole that sensitizes hypoxic tumor cells to radiation and chemotherapy.

Dual Drug approach

Figure 1: Dual Drug approach


  • Dual IX inhibitors target a crucial tumor escape mechanism. Targeting hypoxic cells in solid tumors is highly promising, because those cells are often resistant to current therapies and contain a higher proportion of stem cells;
  • Dual IX inhibitors are lethal to tumors by blocking pH regulation of cancer cells through the inhibition of the activity of the IX receptor;
  • Dual IX inhibitors present a promising safety profile and are well tolerated because they are highly specific for hypoxic tumor cells that express IX receptors, and consequently do not affecting healthy tissue;
  • CA IX receptors are present in about 70% of all solid tumors and are considered among the best biomarkers of hypoxia response;
  • Because CA IX expression in tumors can be quantified by immunohistochemistry and imaging techniques, patients who are most likely to benefit from the drug can easily be identified and, a result, the treatment can be personalised to their specific health status, CA IX counts and other needs;
  • Early tests have shown the feasibility of an oral administration of the Dual CA IX inhibitors, which could decrease patient-treatment costs, and improve patient compliance;
  • The drug is relatively easy to synthesise and can be produced in reliable and stable processes.

It has been extensively observed that hypoxic cells are resistant to conventional treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Our dual-drug can however effectively target these cells resulting in hypoxic cell death. Therefore, this approach would be particularly effective in combination with radiation and/or chemotherapy to boost total efficacy, in particular in elderly patients, a growing population of frail patients.