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Decades of therapeutic and diagnostic improvements have provided considerable benefit to cancer patients battling their primary tumors.

Unfortunately, those battling relapse and metastasis have not benefited as much from these advancements and they now account for the vast majority of cancer-related deaths. To this day, there are limited treatment options in this setting.

At HiberCell, we are focused on developing novel therapeutics to overcome foundational barriers that prevent patients from living longer, cancer-free lives.


It’s time we recognize cancer as a chronic disease and focus on developing therapies that address the most common cause of cancer mortality: relapse and metastasis.

Cancers usually start localized within a single tissue and then cells from the primary tumor spread to other organs. So even when primary tumors are surgically removed or seem to have been successfully cleared, treatment-resistant cancer cells have often already disseminated elsewhere in the body and lie dormant, waiting to reawaken as relapse and metastatic disease.

The immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and adaptive stress biology allow these cells to persist. We believe treatments focused on modulating these foundational barriers will meaningfully impact patient outcomes.


We have leveraged the scientific insight of the HiberCell team and experts in the field to define the key barriers of the tumor microenvironment and adaptive stress response that our therapeutic programs need to address.

As such, our programs are focused on delivering:

  • Single agent/standard-of-care combinations to modulate stress biology in primary tumors
  • Therapeutic modulation of stress-mediated adaptivity and tumor survival
  • Strategies that address the multifaceted nature of relapse and metastasis

the journey of a cancer cell

View the following animation to follow the journey of a cancer cell from undetectable to cancer diagnosis, and then into a dormant phase, before a transition to relapse and metastatic disease.

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1. Undetected

Cancers can exist for years in premalignant forms. In the preinvasive stage, cancer is undetected and minimally or not proliferating.


Diagnosis / First-line treatment

2. Diagnosis / First-line treatment

In the invasive stage, a malignant lesion grows and is detected.
Primary tumors are treated in this stage via therapeutics, radiation, and/or resection.

Foundational BarriersAdaptive stress biology / Tumor microenvironment

Pipeline MoleculesImprime / ERSM-5404 / IRSM-7366


Clinical Dormancy

3. Clinical Dormancy

Successful treatment or resection of a primary tumor leads to a period of minimal residual disease. Current standard of care involves ongoing monitoring for cancer relapse or metastasis.

Foundational BarriersTumor microenvironment / Adaptive stress biology / Non-proliferating, treatment-resistant cells

Pipeline MoleculesERSM-5404 / IRSM-7366


Detectable Metastatic Disease

4. Detectable Metastatic Disease

Malignant lesions reemerge, either at the same site as the primary tumor or in new locations. There are few effective therapeutic options in this setting.

Foundational BarriersTumor microenvironment / Adaptive stress biology / Non-proliferating, treatment-resistant cells

Pipeline MoleculesImprime / ERSM-5404 / IRSM-7366

Foundational Barriers

Explore the following graphics to understand how the tumor microenvironment and stress biology interfere with cancer treatment response, and the therapeutic opportunities found within HiberCell’s pipeline to overcome these barriers.

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Tumor Microenvironment

Stress Biology

Ineffective anti-cancer immune responses may result from limited T-cell based anti-cancer immunity, insufficient antigen presentation, or a suppressive tumor microenvironment.

Strategies aimed at overcoming these barriers will provide patients with an opportunity for robust and durable clinical responses.

As a systemically-administered innate immune activator, Imprime PGG has the potential to significantly increase the number of patients who benefit from combinatorial approaches with immuno-oncology therapies such as checkpoint inhibitors.

Imprime PGG primes the innate immune system and reprograms the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment to drive enhanced antigen presentation, triggering T-cell activation and ultimately enhancing the immune response against tumors.

Cancer cells are exposed to a wide range of stressors including the accumulation of reactive oxygen species, hypoxia, nutrient deprivation, and ER dysfunction leading to accumulation of unfolded proteins, among others.

Stress biology is a foundational barrier, which contributes to tumor cell  dormancy, malignancy and drug resistance.

The adaptive stress response provides a key survival advantage to cancer cells.

Inhibiting the kinases known to mediate the  unfolded protein response (UPR) and integrated stress response (ISR) represent a unique context-dependent therapeutic approach. Addressing stress biology is a differentiated opportunity to provide both direct anti-tumor activity and reprogram the tumor micro-environment.

HiberCell is developing a PERK inhibitor (ERSM-5404) to address UPR-driven ER Stress and a GCN2 inhibitor (ISRM-6904) for ISR. These first-in-human programs will have applications for solid and hematologic cancers and be tested in the primary tumor and relapse/metastasis settings.


We have a portfolio of clinical and preclinical programs that differentially prime the innate immune system and inhibit the adaptive stress response.

Monotherapy and combinatorial data support clinical applicability across solid and hematological malignancies and cancer relapse.