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Akiram Therapeutics raises 68 million SEK

The DDD Platform spin-out company has secured investments from Sciety Venture Partners and Linc AB, in a venture capital round led by Sciety.

The investment company Linc AB participated in the share issue with SEK 20 million.

“We would like to thank Sciety and all those who have participated in this successful issue for the great confidence in Akiram and our drug candidate. We now have the means to continue our work at full speed and take the next important steps on our exciting journey. We are very eager to continue the development of our drug candidate and to initiate phase I clinical studies,” says Marika Nestor, CEO of Akiram. “We are delighted to see the great interest and trust in our work and to have a group of investors helping us to deliver hope to patients suffering from incurable cancer.”

The proceeds from the financing will be used for GMP production of the drug candidate and for initiating a phase I clinical study.

Targeted radioimmunotherapy for anaplastic thyroid cancer

Akiram Therapeutics has developed a new type of targeted radioimmunotherapy for anaplastic thyroid cancer. The drug candidate consists of Akiram’s antibody, the result of many years of research, in combination with the radioactive compound, Lutetium 177. Akiram has thus far run the project within academia with support from, among others, SciLifeLab, VINNOVA, and the Swedish Cancer Society. Preclinical data shows, among other things, that the drug candidate has a significant effect on human thyroid tumours in animals without signs of side effects or damage to the surrounding tissue.

“Targeted radiation therapy is a rapidly growing field expected to become the next breakthrough in cancer treatment. The reasons for our decision to invest are, among others, the founding team’s long experience in the field, both from academia and industry, as well as their solid preclinical data. We now look forward to participating in the company’s continued journey,” says Andreas Lindblom, CEO of Sciety. “We are very impressed with the company’s preclinical work, including the outstanding study results. In addition, we have high confidence in the management’s ability to successfully run both the production development work and the clinical phase 1 trial. We look forward to being part of the company’s future development,” says Karl Tobieson, CEO of Linc.

An ideal case for the SciLifeLab DDD model

With the goal to enable personalized medicine, the idea was to evaluate the use of tailored molecular radiotherapy as treatment for advanced thyroid cancer, for which there is currently no effective treatment available. Since the exit, Marika Nestor and colleagues from Uppsala University have started a company – Akiram Therapeutics – to further develop the candidate drug for clinical use. The drug is a novel antibody-based radiopharmaceutical, which has potential to be broadly used in several other cancer indications.

”Marika’s project represented an ideal case for the SciLifeLab DDD model. In short, that means that we get innovative ideas from academic researchers around Sweden and use our technical infrastructure and drug discovery knowledge to develop prototype drugs, while the academic research group continues to develop the biological understanding,” says Per Arvidsson, Director Drug Discovery & Development Platform, SciLifeLab.

“For us, the collaborative environment where we alternated work in the lab with the preclinical models that SciLifeLab have, were very successful. Without the support from SciLifeLab for pre-clinical proof of concept, and Testa Center, where we could optimize the production of the antibody, we would not have started the company. Now, with the financing, our mission to contribute to meet the therapeutic need of a group of cancer patients is about to be realized,” finishes Marika Nestor.

Photo: iStock