Nodal, an embryonic morphogen in the TGF-β superfamily, is an important cell signaling regulator in embryonic stem cells. The re-emergence and high expression level of Nodal has recently been reported in patients with malignant tumor progression, such as melanoma, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. These results support Nodal as a prognostic biomarker for cancer, where Nodal plays a critical role in promoting tumor growth and causing vasculogenic mimicry (VM) formation. Therefore, Nodal has become a promising oncology target, especially for those cancer patients fail the standard chemotherapy.
TaiRx has licensed a series of Nodal patents from Northwestern University, USA. TRX-NOC project will thus focus on developing the Nodal diagnostic device and Nodal anti-body drug for the use in cancer therapy.