The agreement means that AstraZeneca AB is the first company to be offered the opportunity to acquire on commercial terms (right of first refusal) a potential first product from the Fractalkine project for the treatment of lung diseases. Additionally, Kancera AB will pay a low level of royalties on net income from such a product to Acturum Real Estate AB. The commitments of Kancera AB stated above do not apply to products outside the area of lung diseases.
The fact that Kancera AB controls full rights to the Fractalkine project facilitates the company's future commercialization of the drug candidate KAND567.
KAND567 is currently being tested in a clinical Phase Ia study. The study aims at documenting drug characteristics, safety and tolerability in healthy subjects, thus demonstrating opportunities and limitations for the further development of this drug candidate. According to the present plan, the results of this study are expected to be communicated in early 2018.
About the Fractalkine project
KAND567 is an orally available small molecule that blocks CX3CR1, the Fractalkine receptor. Fractalkine is an immune-modulating factor, a so-called chemokine, which transmits signals via the CX3CR1 receptor, thereby controlling the function of immune cells and cancer cells. The number of Fractalkine molecules and CX3CR1 receptors has been shown to be elevated in several inflammatory diseases, in cancer and in chronic pain conditions.
Kancera's drug candidate KAND567 is the most advanced drug candidate against CX3CR1 and has been shown to be effective against inflammation and pain in multiple preclinical disease models.
In the healthy individual, Fractalkine and its receptor, CX3CR1, regulate migration of immune cells from the blood capillary wall into areas where the immune system is needed. In cancer, the tumor cells use the same system (CX3CR1 and Fractalkine) to invade healthy organs and form metastases. In addition, the presence of Fractalkine has been described to be associated with a lack of effect of immuno-oncological drugs. Against this background, Kancera is evaluating how well KAND567 can stop tumor growth.
Animal studies show that the Fractalkine receptor is not necessary for survival and that important immune functions remain intact despite the absence of the receptor. Effectively combating local inflammation while maintaining a well-functioning immune system in the patient is expected to provide the basis for successful development of KAND567.
In clinical trials, blocking of the Fractalkine system has been shown to have the desired effect against auto-immune diseases such as Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis in refractory cases. These studies have been conducted by the pharmaceutical company Eisai using a monoclonal antibody. The results of these studies indicate that the probability has increased for the Kancera AB drug candidate KAND567 to achieve clinical and commercial success as the first small-molecule drug that works through the Fractalkine system to combat many common diseases.
About Kancera AB
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. Kancerais currently developing drugs for the treatment of leukemia and solid tumors, by regulating the immune system, blocking survival signals in the cancer cell and on addressing cancer metabolism. Kancera’s operations are based in the Karolinska Institute Science Park in Stockholm and the company employs around 18 people. Kancera shares are traded on NASDAQ First North and the number of shareholders was more than 7500 as of June 30th, 2017. FNCA is Kancera’s Certified Adviser. Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin, Professor Håkan Mellstedt, and MD PhD Charlotte Edenius are board members and Kancera’s scientific advisers.
For further information contact,
Thomas Olin, CEO: +46-735-20 40 01
Kancera AB (publ)
Karolinska Institutet Science Park
SE 171 48 Solna
Visit our home page at: https://www.kancera.com