Lör 13 apr / År 42 / Nr 1 2024

Kancera– uniting industrial and clinical expertise to combat cancer

Five years of research, substantial investments and a lot of motivation from dedicated professionals has led to the founding of the drug development company Kancera last year. With the ambition to develop a new generation of cancer drugs to combat leukaemia and solid tumours, Kancera pursues research and development in close proximity to the Karolinska Institute and University Hospital.

Kancera initially unites industrial and clinical expertise, currently undertaking two projects where one is concerned with leukaemia and one with solid tumours. The public listing of Kancera on Nasdaq OMX First North during 2011 has allowed the company to further accelerate development new generation cancer targeted treatments.

Acute need for alternative treatment
Today, cancer is treated primarily with surgery, chemotherapy and biological drugs, all very stressful to the patient. The need for alternative treatment and new drugs, primarily of the sort that does not affect healthy tissue, is acute. Kancera has roots stretching back to the prominent drug development companies Pharmacia and Biovitrum. With expertise from the Karolinska Institute and capital from private investors the company was founded last year.
The origins are of interest as it brings a long history with several successes in drug development. Kancera’s experience in industrial drug development enables the company to draw out potential candidates for further development. By using stem cell models Kancera’s researchers are able to single out certain targets which may become part of successful treatments for cancer.
At this stage, Kancera is developing the world’s first drug specifically targeting Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), which is the most common form of chronic leukaemia. Kanceras active compound act by forcing leukemia cells to eliminate themselves through a cellular suicide whilst leaving healthy blood cells intact. As previously discussed, the second project is concerned with developing drugs for treating solid tumours. This new treatment is based on the concept of preventing drug resistant cancer cells to use sugar for their survival. This should render them more sensitive to chemo and radio therapy.

Listed on Nasdaq OMX First North
After acquiring the Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery iNovacia, Kancera has access to laboratory equipment and expertise on an internationally competitive level. Today, Kancera has 20 employees where half are research doctors. iNovacia has been involved in over 30 drug discovery projects collaborating with global leaders within the pharmaceutical and Biotech industry, now bringing all this expertise into Kancera.
As a token of the company’s fast paced growth, Kancera was listed on the NASDAQ OMX First North in February this year. “We are now looking to deliver the next cancer drug for partnership and out-licensing to a driven pharmaceutical developer”, Kancera CEO Thomas Olin states.