Kancera carries out pre-clinical pharmaceutical development based on structure activity studies in patient derived tissues. The product development, performed in close collaboration with clinicians, is initiated by clinical discoveries in recurrent cancers and delivers candidate drugs for partnering with international pharmaceutical companies.
Kancera employs around 10 people and conducts its operations in high-tech facilities, equipped for drug discovery, in the Karolinska Institute Science Park in Stockholm.
The company currently has three drug projects in its portfolio.
• Small molecules and vaccine development against a truly cancer selective (onco-embryonic) tyrosine receptor kinase named ROR1. By inhibiting ROR1 cancer is reprogrammed to prevent metastases and self-destroy through apoptosis. ROR small molecule inhibitors are in preclinical development and have been shown to be effective and selective against primary tumor samples from refractory CLL patients and against cancer cells derived from several solid tumors. The ROR1 based vaccine is directed towards residual disease to prevent or delay relapse.
• Inhibitors of the metabolic enzyme PFKFB3 are developed in a structure-based design project to sensitize cancer to chemotherapy, including cisplatin. This project is based on the fact that a specific inhibition of PFKFB3 results in reduced glucose-metabolism and cell division in oxygen-deficient regions of the tumor that is associated with development of resistance to treatment.
• Highly iso-enzyme selective HDAC6 inhibitors are developed to achieve superior therapeutic window and thereby fully exploit the potential of HDAC6 as mechanism to interfere with cancer dell migration and metastasis in both solid and hematologic cancer.