Now Kancera is starting to develop drug candidates that also attack solid tumors via ROR-1 and ROR-2. Kancera’s existing ROR technology is enabling the company, in a shorter period than is normally possible, to develop drug candidates to fight pancreatic and prostate cancer.
“The fact that Kancera’s ROR technology gives the company an advantage over competitors in the ROR-2 area and for solid tumors is supported by the fact that we have already successfully developed the first active compounds,” says Thomas Olin, CEO of Kancera AB.
“Kancera’s new research is now focused on intensified development of active compounds that attack ROR-1 and ROR-2 and demonstrating the therapeutic potential of these in Kancera’s hiT systems which are based on tumor cells and stem cells from patients,” says Håkan Mellstedt, Professor at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, who is also one of Kancera’s co-founders.
ROR consists of a family of proteins that gives cells signals for growth and survival, so-called receptors. Originally ROR were linked to fetus development, but now we know that they also play a role in the growth and spread of cancer cells. The ROR family consists of two receptors, ROR-1 and ROR-2. Due to the fact that ROR receptors mainly generate a survival and development signal in tumor cells, but are not active in healthy cells in adults, it is likely that a drug that targets ROR will attack a tumor much more forcefully than healthy tissue. Kancera’s founders and other researchers have also reported that blocking ROR results in certain cancer cells eliminating themselves through cellular suicide. Based on this, there is reason to assume that a ROR-targeted drug is both safer and more effective than the unselective types of chemotherapy used to treat cancer today.