Glactone Pharma receives funding from Vinnova

2017-04-10

In strong competition and after external examination, Glactone Pharma has been awarded a Vinnova (Sweden’s Innovation Agency) grant for innovative startup companies. The funded project will further investigate STAT3 as a target for cancer immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy is a treatment modality that activates and utilizes the body’s own immune system to recognize and attack tumors. However, tumors and cancer cells have evolved a variety of mechanisms to evade the immune system. One such mechanism is cellular signaling through the oncogenic protein STAT3. Glactone Pharma’s objective with this project is to demonstrate that the company’s lead drug candidates, in a relevant cancer model, can modulate the immune system though STAT3 blockade and thereby act as an immunotherapy against specific types of cancer.

With the great potential that immunotherapies pose for cancer patients, a large interest in novel immunotherapies has arisen. A positive result from this study would greatly increase the potential of Glactone Pharma and open the possibility to test the company’s drug candidates in more advanced studies with the vision of helping cancer patients.

About STAT3
STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) is a transcription factor/signaling protein that is frequently activated in many forms of cancer.

STAT3 plays crucial roles in both tumor cells and in the tumor microenvironment and is a highly promising target for cancer therapy. Direct STAT3 inhibitors have the potential to prevent metastasis, reverse drug resistance and induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Furthermore, STAT3 inhibitors have the potential to be combined with immunotherapies to increase response rates and efficacy and with targeted drugs and chemotherapy to reverse and overcome resistance and provide efficacious and safe cancer treatments.

STAT3 is an intractable drug target as it is an intracellular protein with no enzymatic activity and is activated by multiple upstream factors. Despite not being a “classic drug target”, Glactone Pharma has developed a series of proprietary small molecules, based on the natural product galiellalactone (GPA500) as a lead, that act as STAT3 inhibitors. These small molecule STAT3 inhibitors bind directly to the DNA binding domain of STAT3 thereby inhibiting the function of the target.

About Glactone Pharma
Glactone Pharma is a biotech company within P.U.L.S. AB, a Swedish life science company with a unique combination of scientists and industrialists who together with innovators are commercializing ideas by providing capital, know-how and committed partnership.

Glactone Pharma is based on ground-breaking science from the University of Lund in Sweden. The company has developed a pipeline of novel potential drugs that target the STAT3 transcription factor for the use in immuno-oncology and for the treatment of advanced treatment resistant cancers. STAT3 is directly involved in tumor mediated immune suppression and resistance to androgen inhibition therapy making it an ideal target in combination treatments. To read more, visit www.glactone.com and www.pulsinvest.se.

For more information, please contact
Jan Törnell, Chairman of the Board, Glactone Pharma AB, +46 (0)70-676 00 08 or jan.tornell@pulsinvest.se

Martin Johansson, CEO, Glactone Pharma AB, +1 705 768 0603 or martin.johansson@glactone.com