Biotech firm Oncopeptides receives €267k grant to find new cancer cure
Biotech company Oncopeptides has received a €267,000 (3 million Swedish kronor) research grant from Sweden’s Innovation Agency, Vinnova, to develop new treatment alternatives for glioblastoma using its innovation, the Peptide Drug Conjugate (PDC) platform.
Preliminary data have revealed that Oncopeptides’ proprietary PDC technology has a significant potential to resolve treatment challenges in glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
“We are very excited to advance our pre-clinical portfolio and explore the potential of our innovative PDC platform in other indications outside hematological diseases.”
Monica Shaw, CEO of Oncopeptides
CEO Monica Shaw expressed her excitement about the opportunity to advance the company’s proprietary technology.
“Glioblastoma is a common and very aggressive brain tumour type with only very few treatment options and no cure,” Shaw said. “As such there is an imminent need for more effective therapies with different mode of actions.”
The PDC comprises two main components — a cytotoxic payload and a peptide carrier. The peptide carrier takes advantage of the increased metabolic activity in cancer cells to rapidly hydrolyse the PDC compound.
These compounds will transform into multiple hydrophilic metabolites, causing intracellular accumulation in cancer cells. This process increases the treatment’s therapeutic index to surpass conventional chemotherapy.
Oncopeptides will coordinate the current research project — designing and synthesising new compounds that could potentially become glioblastoma drugs. The Swedish startup is partnering with academia and biotechnology experts to develop preclinical models using real cancer cells.
The preclinical data from the project will support the creation of a potential drug for glioblastoma in 2026, allowing Oncopeptides to start the clinical development of novel glioblastoma treatment.
The Stockholm startup uses the PDC platform to develop new drugs for haematological diseases as well. Its first product is melflufen, an anti-cancer drug that targets aminopeptidases by releasing alkylating agents in cancer cells to treat adults with bone marrow cancer.
The company has completed toxicology research on an upcoming new drug, OPDC3, which is claimed to have the potential to be an effective and more tolerable cancer treatment option.
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