Kancera reports new preclinical results supporting potential for its ROR1 inhibitor in B-cell malignancies


Kancera AB (publ) reports new preclinical results supporting the potential for KAN571, a ROR1 inhibitor, for treatment of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), a subtype of B-cell malignancies. Preclinical studies of KAN571 in MCL cell lines show that KAN571 effectively eliminates cancer cells that are resistant to established therapies.

Kancera develops two therapies against B-cell malignancies:

  • Fractalkine blocker KAND145 for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) through inhibition of nurse like cells derived from monocytes
  • ROR1 inhibitor KAN571 for treatment of B-cell malignancies such as MCL by inducing programmed cell death, so called apoptosis

This operational update concerns development of KAN571 for the treatment of MCL.

In collaboration with leading B-cell malignancies researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute in Barcelona, Kancera has conducted in-vivo and in-vitro studies of KAN571 in MCL cell lines and patient derived tumor cells. The results show that KAN571:

  • is effective in eliminating primary human cancer cells implanted in rodents
  • increases the effect of two established and commonly used drugs: venetoclax and ibrutinib
  • is effective in killing cancer cells that have acquired resistance to ibrutinib and venetoclax

Our new research results support our hypothesis that our ROR1 inhibitor may have a synergistic and additive effect when combined with established therapies such as ibrutinib and venetoclax. This strengthens the opportunity for KAN571 to be used for patients that have become resistant to established therapies with few options left. We are very enthusiastic about the fact that we have two promising agents for treatment of B-cell malignancies in KAND145 and KAN571, as it strengthens our position when seeking partners”, says Thomas Olin, CEO of Kancera.

About KAN571:
ROR1 is a cancer selective receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK). Independent research has shown that expression of ROR1 plays a major role in cancer cell survival by promoting cell death, so called apoptosis. Increased expression of ROR1 has been observed in a wide variety of cancer diseases, including B-cell malignancies. Overexpression of ROR1 in patients was first described in CLL, but ROR1 has also been shown to be overexpressed in several other B-cell malignancies, as well as in solid tumors. It has also been observed that ROR1 expression increases with the progression of the cancer disease and correlates with decreased overall survival. KAN571 is Kancera’s lead preclinical candidate targeting ROR1. KAN571 is highly potent in treatment resistant cancer cells and is expected to be dosed once daily as it remains active in the body over a long time.

Kancera’s preclinical research of its ROR1 inhibitors has primarily been conducted in B-cell malignancies such as CLL and MCL. Based on recent market opportunity assessment, Kancera has concluded that the largest unmet medical need is within MCL: MCL is an aggressive subtype of B-cell malignancies leading to shorter survival than the other subtypes (less than 5 years from diagnosis). More than 70% of MCL patients are diagnosed in stage IV and are considered incurable. At first line treatment, cure is rarely achieved. Second line therapies include experimental targeted therapeutics such as Ibrutinib and Venetoclax. Upon failure of these drugs, few effective clinical options are available.

Kancera will now conduct mouse studies of KAN571 in ibrutinib and venetoclax resistant MCL cell lines and expects to report results in Q2 2023.

About KAND145:
KAND145 is a CX3CR1 antagonist, i.e. it blocks the Fractalkine receptor (CX3CR1) to bind to the Fractalkine ligand (CX3CL1) KAND145 is Kancera’s second generation CX3CR1 antagonist, intended primarily for solid tumors, such as ovarian cancer, and blood cancers, such as. B-cell malignancies. Kancera has previously announced its decision to conduct clinical studies of its CX3CR1 antagonist in treatment resistant ovarian cancer, with the aim to restore sensitivity to platinum chemotherapy.

About Kancera AB (publ)
Kancera AB is developing a new class of drugs in the areas of inflammation and cancer, with a main focus on developing drug candidates based on the so called Fractalkine system. Fractalkine is a natural master regulator that controls immune cells and cancer cells with precision. Kancera is studying its most advanced drug candidate in an ongoing fully financed phase IIa study in inflammation in connection with myocardial infarction. Patient enrollment is expected to be completed before end of 2022. Kancera is also conducting development of its drug candidate KAND145, primarily aimed for oncology indications. Fully financed phase I-studies are planned to start in H1 2023. The stock is traded on the Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market.

For further information:
Thomas Olin
Chief Executive Officer, Kancera AB
Tel: +46-70-520 40 01

Welcome to visit Kancera’s web page: https://www.kancera.com/en