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Oncopeptides receives a research grant from Vinnova

Oncopeptides has received a research grant of 3 million SEK from Sweden’s Innovation Agency (Vinnova), to explore the development of new treatment options for glioblastoma, an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer.

The grant enables exploratory research to better understand the potential of the PDC platform in solid tumors such as glioblastoma.

“We are very excited to advance our pre-clinical portfolio and explore the potential of our innovative PDC platform in other indications outside hematological diseases,” says Monica Shaw, CEO of Oncopeptides. “Glioblastoma is a common and very aggressive brain tumor type with only very few treatment options and no cure. As such there is an imminent need for more effective therapies with different mode of actions.”

The treatment challenges in glioblastoma

Preclinical data demonstrate that the Peptide Drug Conjugate (PDC) platform has a significant potential to address the treatment challenges in glioblastoma. The PDC compounds are designed around two components, a peptide carrier and a cytotoxic payload. The peptide carrier utilizes the increased metabolic activity of glioblastoma cells to rapidly hydrolyze the PDC compounds into multiple hydrophilic metabolites leading to intracellular accumulation in cancer cells. This can increase the therapeutic index compared to conventional chemotherapy.

Oncopeptides coordinates the project

The project has received a financial grant from the Eurostars 3-program, it is co-financed by the EU’s research and innovation program “Horizon Europe” and is driven by an international research consortium. Oncopeptides coordinates the project and is responsible for lead optimization to design and synthesize new compounds profiled as potential glioblastoma drugs. Our partners, who represent both academia and biotech, will contribute with their expertise in glioblastoma as well as in the development of advanced preclinical models utilizing cancer cells derived from patients.

The consortium is expected to generate a preclinical data set that may support the selection of a candidate drug for glioblastoma in 2026. The data package may enable Oncopeptides to finalize preclinical and IND enabling studies and subsequently start clinical development, it states.

Photo of Monica Shaw: Oncopeptides