The PFKFB3 project
Recent studies conducted within the framework of the collaboration with Prof. Thomas Helleday show that treatment with Kancera’s PFKFB3 inhibitor KAN0438757 alone inhibits an aggressive breast cancer tumor formed by the cell line MB231 (triple negative breast cancer). The human cancer cells were transplanted into zebra fish and four days treatment with KAN0438757 reduced the size of the tumor by more than 50% in comparison with the control treatment. The results support that Kancera’s PFKFB3 inhibitor is effective when reaching the tumor in sufficient concentration. Previously reported results show that Kancera’s PFKFB3 inhibitor KAN0438757 is able to counteract cancer cell repair of the DNA. Hence there are grounds to examine whether a more potent effect of PFKFB3 inhibitors can be achieved against triple negative breast cancer by combining the treatment with e.g. DNA damaging radiation. However, such a combination effect remains to be demonstrated in vivo.
The HDAC6 project
Since May 2015, when Kancera’s first patent application in the HDAC6 project entered the international stage, new series of potent and selective inhibitors of the enzyme has been developed. An additional patent application that covers these new HDAC6 inhibitors will be registered before the end of January, 2016. In order facilitate the filing of the new patent application, Kancera has decided to postpone the publication of the first patent application for one year.
In June 2015, Vinnova announced that Kancera’s HDAC6 project had been awarded a grant of SEK 2,000,000 for the further development of HDAC6 inhibitors against cancer. The first installment of SEK 436,000 was paid in July. Vinnova has now decided to bring forward the second installment of SEK 750,000 to December 2015.
EU projektet mot parasitsjukdomar – A-PARADDISE
In February 2014 Kancera received an initial payment from the EU amounting to € 523,655 for the execution of the A-PARADDISE project. This project is a collaboration between 15 research groups on three continents to develop drugs against severe parasitic diseases: malaria, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. The project issued an interim report which now has been approved by the EU. This means that a further installment of the grant will be paid to Kancera at year-end according to plan. This installment amounts to € 285,000.
For further information, please contact,
Thomas Olin, CEO: +46 (0) 735 20 40 01
Kancera AB (publ)
Karolinska Institutet Science Park, Banvaktsvägen 22
SE 171 48 Solna
Please visit the company website; https://www.kancera.com
About the PFKFB3 project
By blocking mechanisms which enable the cancer cells to adapt to periods of oxygen deprivation, possibilities open for new treatment strategies. Kancera’s project is based on a specific inhibition of the enzyme PFKFB3 resulting in a decreased metabolism in cancer cells, and decreased cell growth. In addition, research shows that PFKFB3 is involved in the regulation of both angiogenesis and division of cells, two critical processes that contribute to tumor growth. PFKFB3 is more common in oxygen-deficient tumor tissue compared to healthy tissue, which makes a targeted effect therapy with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy possible. Inhibition of PFKFB3 is expected to starve and weaken the tumor cells by reducing their glycolysis and cell division. This is a way to overcome the current problems of tumor resistance to radiation and chemotherapy.
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 the EU-project against parasitic diseases – A-PARADDISE
A-PARADDISE (Anti-Parasitic Drug Discovery in Epigenetics) is an EU-funded project (contract n° 602080), which aims to identify new drug targets for anti-parasitic drug discovery as well as to develop already available lead compounds to candidate drugs against schistosomiasis. The project will also develop lead compounds and possibly drug candidates against targets in the following parasites (diseases): Leishmania (Leishmaniasis), Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas disease) and Plasmodium falciparum (malaria). The A-PARADDISE project builds on the completed and highly successful SEtTReND project which was focused against schistosomiasis.
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. 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 13 people. Kancera shares are traded on nasdaq first north and the number of shareholders was around 7300 as of September 30, 2015. Remium Nordic AB is Kancera’s Certified Adviser. Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin and Professor Håkan Mellstedt are board members and Kancera´s scientific advisers.