The collaboration between Professor Ernfors and CBCS started in 2010 as one of the very first projects in the CBCS portfolio. The SciLifeLab Drug Discovery & Development (DDD) platform contributed to the success of the project in the later stages of development prior to external financing.
Annika Jenmalm Jensen, Director of CBCS, commented: “We are thrilled that the broad, collaborative model that CBCS provides in the academic sector is beginning to bear the fruits of its efforts. The Glionova project is the first, of hopefully many, discovery projects where we can see a successful strong interplay between the CBCS and DDD platforms at SciLifeLab.”
The newly launched Glionova Therapeutics is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new therapies for cancer. The company’s lead candidate, GLN-1001, is a first-in-class, orally available oncolytic small molecule, currently being developed as a potentially disease modifying therapy for glioblastoma by targeting specific vulnerabilities in tumor cells. Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive form of brain cancer, affecting roughly 2-7 in 100 000 individuals world wide annually.
GLN-1001 stems from recently published research (Kitambi, et al, Cell, 2014, 157(2), 313-328) from Patrik Ernfors, Professor at Karolinska Institutet, and Lars Hammarström, PhD and CBCS’s co-founder. Patrik Ernfors will serve as Glionova’s Senior Scientific Advisor and Lars Hammarström as Chief Scientific Officer, in parallel to his current position at CBCS.
“Projects which have identified early tool compounds and validated their biology as a CBCS project are clearly very attractive for us within the drug discovery platform” comments Per I Arvidsson, Executive Director of DDD. “The combination of a focus on validating new therapeutic targets and mechanisms at CBCS and the more commercial output at SciLifeLab DDD is clearly satisfying both the academic investigator and the industrial partner.”
GLN-1001 is currently in preclinical development, where it has been shown to dramatically prolong survival in patient derived xenograft animal models of glioblastoma. The start-up of Glionova Therapeutics has been enabled by seed investments of over SEK 40 million from founding investors HealthCap and NovoSeeds. The secured financing will allow for the continued development of GLN-1001 through first in human studies. Glionova aims to apply for orphan drug designation in both the United States and the European Union. More information about the company is available at www.glionova.com.
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