During the CIPM, Kancera will present results showing that a few of the company´s vaccine candidates against ROR1 is able to teach the immune system in rats and rabbits to recognize important components of ROR1. Further, they are able to kill cancer cells from patients in 24 hours, while blood cells from healthy subjects are unaffected during the same period of time. The results show that Kancera´s vaccine project progress according to plan. The development is now focused on further improvement of the vaccine characteristics as well as safety studies.
Kancera will also present results showing that the company´s small molecule ROR1 inhibitor KAN0439834 is more potent than previously assumed. The compound inactivates ROR1 in only 15 minutes at a low concentration (25 nM) and kills cancer cells that have been donated by patients at 300 nM concentration. Further, Kancera has shown that it is sufficient to inhibit ROR1 for six hours in order for cancer cells to complete apoptosis in 24 hours. The results support the focus of the ongoing animal studies that are conducted to enable the selection of a first drug candidate in the ROR project.
During the period June to September 2014, publications from research groups independent of Kancera have presented results that support that future ROR1 targeted drugs have the potential to improve treatment of severely ill cancer patients and be established as pioneering drugs on the market. In June, a study was published (Karachaliou et al., Translational Lung Cancer Research Vol 3, No 3, June 2014) showing that the drug Erlotinib™ slows down lung cancer progression significantly better if the tumor contains low levels of ROR1 while high levels of ROR1 is associated with a more rapid disease progression. In September, Professor Thomas Kipps, together with the American company Celgene, published in a press release the launch of the clinical development of a ROR1 directed antibody suggested to hit the cancer cells that are most important for tumor development (so-called cancer stem cells).
About the ROR project
ROR is a family of receptors, ROR1 and ROR2. The ROR receptors mediate signals for growth and survival. Originally ROR was linked to fetal development, but it is now known that they also contribute to cancer cell development and proliferation. Professor Håkan Mellstedt, Kancera´s co-founder and professor at the Karolinska Institute, and his colleagues have shown that Kancera´s ROR inhibitors have the ability to kill cells from tumors in pancreas, and leukemia cells. Professor Mellstedt and his colleagues as well as independent researchers have shown that ROR is also active as a target in prostate, breast, skin and lung cancer.
Because ROR primarily generates a survival and growth signal to tumor cells but is inactive in healthy cells in adults, there are good prospects that a drug directed against ROR hit the tumor much harder than the surrounding healthy cells. Kancera and Professor Mellstedt have shown that inhibition of ROR leads to that cancer cells eliminate themselves by cellular suicide. Against this background, there are reasons to anticipate that a ROR-targeted drug is both safer and more effective than several chemotherapies currently used to treat cancer.
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 5400 shareholders as of March 31, 2014. Remium Nordic AB is Kancera’s Certified Adviser. Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin and Professor Håkan Mellstedt are Kancera´s scientific advisers.
For additional information, please contact:
Thomas Olin, CEO: Tel +46 735 20 40 01
Karolinska Institutet Science Park
SE 171 48 Solna,
Please visit the company’s web www.kancera.com