The company has announced that it is initiating the development of a vaccine directed against ROR.
Kancera’s strategy is, according to the Karolinska Institutet Science Park company, to use its future small-molecule ROR inhibitors as a first line treatment for the disease and thereafter follow with a prophylactic ROR vaccine to prevent relapse. The initiative is motivated by the residual disease in the form of a small number of cancer cells that remain in some patients despite treatment, states Kancera. The cancer cells are difficult to detect and are expected to contribute to relapse of cancer disease. In the most common form of leukemia these remaining cancer cells often express ROR. A vaccine makes the patient’s own immune system to recognize and kill these ROR-expressing cancer cells. Thus it is expected that a vaccine will add to the suppression of the disease
In 2014, studies are planned to demonstrate both the immune stimulating performance of the vaccine and its therapeutic effect. A vaccine drug candidate is expected to be delivered in 2015. The vaccine development costs during 2014 are accommodated within the existing budget, due to the synergies between the company’s development of small molecules and vaccines.
Image: Kancera CEO Thomas Olin