Mestastop: Understanding Metastasis Biology for Diagnostics and Discovery.


Tell us about MESTASTOP SOLUTIONS. Its vision and mission.

Mestastop Solution is focused on cancer metastasis, the process that is responsible for tumor spreading and killing 90% of cancer patients. Our vision is to stop metastasis and we have been relentless in our mission to discover new drugs and predictive diagnostics for metastasis.

What were the obstacles you faced at the time of inception?

At the inception, we had an idea, but no proof of concept and no validation. There were very few takers for this idea as the field was, and it still is, extremely challenging and multiple failures have decelerated metastasis research. Therefore, raising the initial funds was a huge challenge.

Will immunotherapy be a turning point in the fight against cancer?

It is already a turning point, especially for hematological cancers. However, the success in solid tumors is less, as we are counting on the body’s immune system to win the endgame. We think it is equally important to delay the progress of the tumor in the body, which will eventually help immunotherapy in combination, by decreasing the disease burden.

What personality attributes, abilities and education do you think is necessary to improve and promote your work?

First and foremost, one requires a zeal for science. A passion to pursue complex problems, by the simplest of solutions, is important. Then listening to the scientific data and learning from those data, instead of thriving on a preconceived notion is equally important. Finally, having a multipronged approach that will combine different expertise is essential to combat this dreadful disease.

Share about your journey from the commencement.

The idea started to come into shape in 2014 when I was involved in cancer drug discovery research. The first draft was ready by 2016, but it took me another two years to quit my job and start working on this. Another year to generate funding and we were off the block in November 2019. In the last eighteen months, we have been hit twice by COVID19, but the fantastic team had kept its chin up and we have created three different prototype solutions, METAssayTM, METSCANTM, and METVivoTM, and have presented in multiple international conferences, created strategic partnerships and are all set for the next phase of growth.

How do you manage the promotion of your project over social media outreach and email campaigns?

We don’t do many promotional activities because we strongly believe our work, our Science will do the talking one day. Mestastop has a Twitter and LinkedIn account which we manage ourselves. Besides, we would like to walk the talk, so it’s always better to keep a low profile, underpromise and overdeliver.

What do you think about the expansion of MESTASTOP SOLUTIONS?

It should happen organically. Today we are still a few months away from validation in drug repurposing and novel drug discovery but have successfully established our unique proprietary platforms. Once we have both the discovery and repurposing proof-of-concept established, we should be able to move to our facility.

Can we reduce different cancers to a set of common traits?

This is a great question. I was not expecting this. Historically, people believe that two cancers of the same tissue are heterogenous, even different areas of the same cancer are heterogeneous. That is true but then that should not deter us from finding the common traits, and trust me they are there, especially in metastasis. Our work with colorectal and triple-negative breast cancer metastasis has shown that there is a 60-70% commonality between the way these tumors spread. One of our key goals is to identify a tissue agnostic minimum common trait for metastasis.

Does epigenetics play a role in cancer?

Yes, it does, big time. I am not a specialist in that area but as far as my understanding goes epigenetics often plays a role in deciding which genes get overexpressed and which ones are expressed less. If any of them are tumor suppressors or oncogenes, the risk increases. With companies like 10X Genomics unravelling epigenomics, a boom might be just around the corner.

Please tell us if there is a useful solution to the current COVID19 scenario? Why?

In the last two years, everyone has somewhat evolved to become a virologist. I am just a cancer disease biologist and will keep myself in that area and let the specialists predict or comment on COVID 19.

Year of Founding2018
Funding Information 3.37 Cr raised from friends and family, the angel (Mumbai Angels, Vistari Ventures), seed (IKP EDEN-BIRAC seed, CIIE.CO)
Founding Members Arnab Roy Chowdhury, Debabani Roy Chowdhury
Office Locations IKP EDEN, Bangalore
Company Strength 8

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