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Aprea initiates new study

Karolinska Development’s portfolio company Aprea is to evaluate its drug candidate for the treatment of ovarian cancer in a new British study.

It is a phase 1b/II study on the pharmaceutical project APR-246, reports Life Science Sweden. The drug candidate is part of a new type of potential cancer drugs that lead the cancer cells to apoptosis, the process of programmed cell death, through the protein p53. The substance has previously been evaluated as a treatment for leukemia. The plan is to recruit 160 patients to the study.

Aprea was founded in 2003 by Prof. Klas Wiman, Prof. Galina Selivanova, Assoc. Prof. Vladimir Bykov, Prof. Staffan Strömblad, Wenjie Bao, PhD., Natalia Issaeva, PhD., and Karolinska Innovations AB. Since then Karolinska Development has been the lead investor. Two additional investors (The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies and Praktikerinvest AB) entered in 2005, and Industrifonden joined as an owner in 2007. In 2006, the research group discovered the lead compound, APR-246, after screening a library of over a hundred compounds. In 2010, an Orphan Drug Designation was granted at European Medicines Agency for the treatment of APR-246 in Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.