Kancera provides operational update on the HDAC6 project


Kancera reports that an investigation of the mechanism of action of the company’s patent-pending HDAC6 inhibitors has demonstrated a unique profile that could strengthen the competitiveness of the project.

Kancera has previously reported that the company´s HDAC6 inhibitors are more potent and more selective in-vitro towards cancer cells from multiple myeloma than Acetylon´s compound ACY-1215.

In order to enable the development of a unique pharmaceutical drug Kancera has investigated possible mechanisms behind the high level of potency and selectivity of the company’s HDAC6 inhibitors against cancer cells. In a first step, Kancera’s compounds were evaluated in an in-vitro toxicology study against about 50 known risk factors. In this study Kancera´s HDAC6 inhibitors exhibited a remarkably high level of selectivity since no significant effect was detected against any of these risk factors. In a second step of the investigation it was examined whether Kancera´s HDAC6 inhibitors affect any of about 100 selected molecular mechanisms of action. Results show that Kancera ‘s HDAC6 inhibitors exhibit a significant effect on only one of the studied mechanisms of action in addition to HDAC6. During 2014 this particular mechanism of action has attracted attention as a new promising opportunity to treat cancer by blocking the formation of new cancer cells. Kancera does not communicate the identity of this new mechanism of action since the results indicate that the discovery can be utilized to further enhance the competitive edge of the HDAC6 project and to form the basis for a new proprietary cancer project. With adequate resources allocated to the HDAC6 project the company predicts that a candidate drug can be delivered in 18-24 months. The next step is now to evaluate how the new mechanism can be combined with inhibition of HDAC6 to fight intractable cancer.

Results published in this week’s annual meeting of the “American Society of Hematology,” strengthen the arguments for HDAC6 as a target for the treatment of cancer. The results suggest that selective inhibition of HDAC6 could break cancer dependent inhibition of the patient’s immune system (John Powers, et al., Abstract 3311 Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) as a regulator of immune check-point molecules in chronic lymphocytic leukemia). Based on these results, it is speculated that HDAC6 inhibition could allow the patient’s immune response to synergize with medical treatment for better clinical results. New approaches to break cancer dependent inhibition of the patient’s immune system is an internationally highly prioritized research area in the search for new effective interventions against cancer.

About the HDAC6 project
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are primarily involved in removing acetyl groups from the so-called histones and thereby affect how our genes are stored and activated in the cell nucleus. Some HDACs also affect the cell function outside the cell nucleus. HDAC6 belongs to this group of HDACs with a major biological role in the regulation of the cancer cell´s ability to migrate and to form metastases. The use of HDAC inhibitors in the treatment of cancer patients has so far yielded promising results, but has been limited due to severe side effects. For this reason, the pharmaceutical industry is now looking for more selective inhibitors of individual HDAC enzymes. Kancera´s discovery of selective HDAC6 inhibitors may provide a solution on how health care could take advantage of the anti-cancer effects of HDAC inhibitors without causing the patient severe side effects.

About Kancera AB (publ)
Kancera develops the basis for new therapeutics, starting with new treatment concepts and ending with the sale of a drug candidate to international pharmaceutical companies. Kancera is currently developing drugs for the treatment of leukemia and solid tumors, based on blocking survival signals in the cancer cell and on addressing cancer metabolism. Kancera’s operations are based in the Karolinska Institutet Science Park in Stockholm and the company employs around 10 people. Kancera shares are traded on NASDAQ OMX First North and are held by around 6300 shareholders as of September 30, 2014. Remium Nordic AB is Kancera’s Certified Adviser. Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin and Professor Håkan Mellstedt are board members and Kancera´s scientific advisers.

For additional information, please contact:
Thomas Olin, CEO: Tel +46 735 20 40 01
Kancera AB
Karolinska Institutet Science Park
Banvaktsvägen 22,
SE 171 48 Solna,

Please visit the company’s web www.kancera.com