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The innovative approach of ProAlt´s test is based on detecting in blood the auto-antibodies generated by human body against neoproteins related to the colorectal cancer tumor. When the tumor appears, several abnormal, mutated, truncated or modified proteins are generated, which are known as tumor-associated antigens (TAA) or neoantigens. Immune system from patients reacts against this TAA’s of the tumor generating several antibodies that can be measured in a simple blood test.

Competitive advantage of auto-antibodies as early detection tools


The advantage of auto-antibodies as biomarkers is that they appear at detectable levels in patient’s blood early, allowing earlier diagnosis before symptoms are present and even before other types of biomarkers can be measured (proteins, metabolites, RNA, DNA, ...). Another auto-antibodies feature that makes them suitable for utilization as biomarkers is their high relative concentrations, extended long half life and good stability in blood.

About the product



The company is currently developing a test based on autoantibodies detection in blood, which will allow early detection of colorectal cancer (CCR) in patients affected by this disease, even though clinical symptoms are not visible. This non-invasive test considerably improves current diagnostic methods (fecal immunochemical test). The prototype is currently being validated clinically, in order to put the product on the market after obtaining the CE mark (IVD). Initially it is planned to be marketed in Europe, the United States, Australia and Canada.


More information at






“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020

research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 666540”



The importance of early diagnosis of colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second most frequent neoplasm in men and women, with one million new cases per year worldwide. It is also the second most deadly cancer with 500.000 people dying every year worldwide. Colorectal cancer is often diagnosed in later stages, drastically worsening prognosis. It is estimated that only around 30-40% of colon cancers are diagnosed in early stages, and later diagnosis is strongly correlated with poorer prognosis. Moreover, about 20% of the detected cases already present metastases at the time of diagnosis, and up to another 20% will eventually develop metastasis in the years following their diagnosis. ProAlt is focused in the development of early diagnostic products for CRC and the generation of first-in-class therapeutic agents for treatment of liver metastasis from colon cancer.





Monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of colorectal, breast and melanoma metastatic tumors




  • Monoclonal antibody family: anti-CDH17_RGD
  • Application: colorectal cancer (liver metastasis); Melanoma y breast cancer (lung metastasis)
  • Mechanism of action: activation of integrin beta 1 inhibitor
  • Effect: inhibition of cell adhesion, proliferation and migration (in vitro assays)
  • Target: cadherins having RGD motifs

    - liver-intestine (LI)-cadherin o CDH17; liver metastasis from colon cancer

    - vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin o CDH5; lung metastasis from melanoma and breast cancer
  • Development phase: preclinical
  • Proof of concept in animal models: significant improvement in survival rates of treated animals




[1] Bartolome, R.A., et al. Cadherin-17 interacts with alpha2beta1 integrin to regulate cell proliferation and adhesion in colorectal cancer cells causing liver metastasis. Oncogene 33: 1658-1669 (2014). doi:10.1038/onc.2013.117

[2] Bartolome, R.A., et al. An RGD motif present in cadherin 17 induces integrin activation and tumor growth. J Biol Chem 289: 34801-34814 (2014). doi:10.1074/jbc.M114.600502

[3] Bartolome, R.A., et al. VE-cadherin RGD motifs promote metastasis and constitute a potential therapeutic target in melanoma and breast cancers. Oncotarget 8(1): 215-227 (2016). doi:10.18632/oncotarget.13832  

[4] Bartolome, R.A., et al. Monoclonal antibodies directed against cadherin RGD exhibit therapeutic activity against melanoma and colorectal cancer metastasis. Clinical Cancer Research 15;24(2):433-444 (2018). Epub 2017 Sep 15. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-1444.

[5] Marshall, J.F. Targeting CDH17 in Cancer: When Blocking the Ligand Beats Blocking the Receptor?. Clinical Cancer Research 15;24(2):253-255 (2018). Epub 2017 Oct 30. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-2823


Research funding organizations

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