Kancera has secured financial resources for two patient studies of KAND567
During the past quarter, Kancera decided to focus its operations on the clinical development of the drug candidate KAND567. The background to the decision is the convincing data generated for KAND567 in the recently completed phase Ib program and that new research findings support the use of Fractalkine inhibitors in more and more inflammatory diseases. In addition, the focus will lead to a reduction in our costs by approximately SEK 12 million through 2021.
At the same time, our financial situation has been significantly strengthened through a successful rights issue and redemption of warrants, which in total provided the company with approximately SEK 76 million after issue costs. Thus, we have now secured sufficient resources to conduct a phase II study of KAND567 in patients undergoing treatment for acute myocardial infarction and also a phase II study in patients affected by covid-19 – two very different patient groups but with hyperinflammation as a common denominator.
The focus on our Fractalkine projects also generated a need for complementary new recruitments, and we are pleased to have been able to welcome Torbjörn Lundström as the new Chief Medical Officer during the quarter. Torbjörn is a doctor of medicine and a clinician with extensive experience in clinical cardiology and internal medicine, and he has worked with clinical drug development within AstraZeneca for 20 years. Our team is now working intensively to prepare for the initiation of the two planned phase II studies with KAND567.
One study of KAND567 will be performed in patients with acute myocardial infarction, in order to continue to evaluate the safety profile of the drug candidate and hopefully also be able to document a cardio-protective effect of the treatment. The study is planned to be carried out at one of the world’s most reputable university hospitals, Freeman Hospital in the UK, and is expected to begin in early 2021.
The second planned study will explore the potential of KAND567 to protect patients with covid-19 from life-threatening hyperinflammation. Approvals have been obtained by the Medical Products Agency and the Ethics Committee. The study is expected to start at St. Göran’s Hospital, Stockholm, in September 2020, with the aim of slowing down hyperinflammation through treatment with KAND567 and thereby avoiding intensive care and long-term rehabilitation for patients with covid-19. The rationale for this treatment concept was recently strengthened, when independent researchers published results showing that the Fractalkine system is activated in covid-19 and that increased levels of Fractalkine are linked to more severe disease.
The Covid-19 pandemic has not had any significant negative consequences for our operations, although it has led to some changes in the way we work – we have, for example, increased the proportion of digital meetings. We see it as a sign of strength that in the midst of the pandemic we were able to successfully carry out both a rights issue and the redemption of outstanding warrants. The concept of counteracting hyperinflammation with the help of Fractalkine inhibitors is growing stronger, at the same time as the potential areas of use are broadening as new research findings are presented. Uncontrolled immune reactions in severe viral infections are one example, use in connection with spinal cord injuries another. Our main focus is still to reduce tissue and vital organ damage in connection with myocardial infarction, but the results from the upcoming phase II studies may open up opportunities in even more areas of use.
Solna, 21 August 2020
Thomas Olin, CEO