Oncopeptides AB has received a SEK 5 million ($465,000) research grant from Sweden’s Innovation Agency.
The Swedish biotech company, which focuses on R&D of therapies for difficult-to-treat hematological diseases, will use the funds to develop a preclinical proof of concept (PoC) for a novel synthetic small polypeptide for the treatment of multiple myeloma.
The compound is a Natural Killer (NK) cell engaging immunotherapy, with superior tissue penetration and immune cell activation. The NK ENGAGE project has been qualified as a Eurostars program and will be driven by a research consortium including the department of Cancer Immunology at Oslo University Hospital, Norway, Pharmatest Services Ltd in Turku, Finland, and Oncopeptides, together with its collaborator the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, KTH, where the technology originally stems from.
“I am very proud and exhilarated that we have managed to attract world-leading expertise to our research consortium around NK-cell engagers,” says Jakob Lindberg, CEO, Oncopeptides AB.
“This grant makes it possible to further advance the NK Engage project that is built on our proprietary technology platform for Small Polypeptide based Killer Engagers (SPiKE) and prepare this compound for clinical development.”
“We are very excited about joining this consortium and believe that the SPiKEs have a great potential to boost NK cell targeting of multiple myeloma,” said Fredrik Schjesvold, head of Oslo Myeloma Center, Norway.
By project completion, the efficacy of the lead compound will be validated in a novel preclinical model. The data package generated in NK Engage enables Oncopeptides to enter final preclinical studies including IND enabling studies, and subsequently start clinical development. Following a successful phase 1 trial, a strong data package will be generated to support further development of the candidate drug.
The project is expected to start on October 1, 2022 and will continue for 36 months.