Aprea raised a huge €46M for a first-in-class drug that targets the deadliest form of ovarian cancer. The company just started Phase II trials after positive results from Phase I. But will it be able to outperform all its competitors?
Aprea is a spin-out company from the Karolinska Development, the portfolio company of the Institute, in Sweden. It became famous earlier this year with its huge fundraising. The interest of the investors stems from its novel drug candidate for serous ovarian cancer, APR-246.
Now, results from Phase Ib trials have confirmed that the treatment shows “minimal additional toxicity” when combined with chemotherapy. Although researchers don’t rule out a contribution of the new drug to the reported side-effects, the company has already launched a Phase II trial and the first patients have enrolled.
Aprea’s therapy targets p53, the most commonly mutated protein in cancer, to restore its tumor-suppressing activity. Mutations in p53 appear in 50% of cancers and is associated with resistance to antitumoral drugs.