Uppsala, Sweden, May 16, 2017 / B3C newswire / -- Beactica AB, the Swedish drug discovery company, today announced a new research collaboration with Uppsala University and the Drug Discovery and Development Platform at SciLifeLab to study the effects on brain cancer stem cells of specific small molecules under development by Beactica.
The goal of the collaboration is to evaluate and characterize the pre-clinical efficacy of Beactica’s allosteric modulators of the epigenetic protein LSD1 in glioma-inducing cells. The collaboration will also evaluate Beactica’s compounds in combination with multiple other anti-cancer agents.
Professor Bengt Westermark and Dr Anna Segerman at Uppsala University’s Faculty of Medicine, have developed a unique capability to study glioma-initiating stem cells. Their cell clones are established from fresh biopsies and characterized with regards to genotype, phenotype and treatment response including standard treatment of care for glioblastoma. The methodology and background research is described in the high-impact journal Cell Reports(1). The Beactica study will be performed at the In Vitro and Systems Pharmacology Facility of SciLifeLab Drug Discovery and Development Platform.
"We are eager to apply our expertise and capabilities to help Beactica deliver promising therapies," said Professor Bengt Westermark, "The Company's LSD1 programme is impressive and has the potential to address the largely unmet medical need of glioblastoma patients."
"Early results from the collaboration indicate a potential to enhance the effect of established treatment in glioblastoma cells." commented Dr Anna Segerman M.D. Ph.D., Lead Researcher at the glioma clone platform.
"This project shows how the Drug Discovery and Development Platform at SciLifeLab adds value to the Swedish biotech industry for the benefit of patients" said Dr Kristian Sandberg, Director of the Drug Discovery and Development Platform at SciLifeLab.
“We are excited to take this next step in our relationship with Uppsala University and SciLifeLab,” said Dr Per Källblad, CEO of Beactica. “These studies will provide important insights into our compounds’ ability to show efficacy in a cancer with extremely poor prognosis. We want to stake out a path for a first-in-class therapeutic that will benefit patients.”
Beactica AB is a specialist drug discovery company, utilising its proprietary methodologies to evaluate the interactions of molecules in order to generate novel therapeutics. As well as progressing its own drug discovery programmes in areas of unmet medical need, Beactica offers partnerships for fragment-based lead generation using its proprietary discovery platform. Founded in 2006 based on research carried out at Uppsala University, Beactica has established a reputation as a world-leader in fragment-based drug discovery using SPR biosensor technology.
About Uppsala University and Professor Bengt Westermark
Uppsala University is Scandinavia’s oldest university with over 40,000 students, 550 full-time professors, and an additional 3,000 teaching and research personnel. In this collaboration, Uppsala University is represented by the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology (IGP).
Bengt Westermark is Professor of Tumour Biology at IGP and is a founding member of the Neuro-Oncology Programme. He was the Chairman of the research board of the Swedish Cancer Society, 2003–2013. He has published over 300 papers in scientific journals, primarily on the mechanisms governing the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. He is a Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organisation, and the European Academy of Cancer Sciences. He has received a number of prizes and awards for his research and has been cited over 25,000 times by other researchers. He is a Board Member at Medivir AB (Nasdaq MVIR-B).
About the Drug Discovery and Development Platform at SciLifeLab
The Drug Discovery & Development Platform is a national resource at the Science for Life Laboratory. The objective for the platform is to assist academic researchers and, when possible, industry to progress biological discoveries into new drug candidates and potential treatments for the benefit of patients. The Drug Discovery & Development Platform offers integrated drug discovery effort, industry standard infrastructure, expertise, and strategic support. SciLifeLab is a Swedish national center for molecular biosciences, with the mission to develop, use and provide advanced technologies for applications in health and environmental research. SciLifeLab is hosted by four universities; Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Uppsala University.
(1) Segerman et al., (2016) Clonal Variation in Drug and Radiation Response among Glioma-Initiating Cells Is Linked to Proneural-Mesenchymal Transition. Cell Reports, 17(11):2994–3009.