Thema vaccines

biosyn’s CEO explains how the company’s keyhole limpet hemocyanin helps fight recurrences in superficial bladder cancer

Megathura crenulata

In the early 1990s, the team of researchers around Dr. Thomas Stiefel, CEO of the pharmaceutical company biosyn, discovered that a unique sea creature living in the cold waters off Southern California’s Pacific coastline can provide a substance for use in cancer therapy. Keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), an immunostimulating glycoprotein, is obtained by a non-lethal method from the hemolymph of the keyhole limpet (Megathura crenulata).


biosyn’s Keyhole Limpet shares its story

My name is Megathura crenulata and I live in the cold coastal waters of Southern California’s and Baja Mexico’s Pacific rim. I am a marine mollusk that gives of itself to beat cancer. Every now and then, divers swim by my habitat to collect me and my comrades for our work in the fight against cancer. They gently take us to the biosyn labs where we are kept in cooled metal basins. As a gastropod, what flows through my veins is not mammalian blood, but hemolymph. The scientists in the lab extract this from my single foot to make immunocyanin, a powerful vaccine instilled in the bladder for cancer recurrence.