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Sprint Bioscience starts marketing additional cancer drug program

Martin Andersson Photo Fredrik Hjerling

Sprint Bioscience has announced that it is starting to market the DISA program to potential partners and, following a series of research advances, reveals the cancer drug program’s target protein, TREX1.

The goal of the program, currently in the preclinical phase, is to develop drugs that inhibit the protein TREX1 in order to enhance the effect of immuno-oncological therapy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer. The company will initiate discussions with potential partners in connection with the BIO-Europe conference in October, it states.

“The company will initiate discussions with potential partners in connection with the BIO-Europe conference in October.”

“Inhibiting TREX1 is a unique approach with great potential to enhance the effect of several current therapies. Many modern cancer drugs depend on the immune system being able to identify the cancer cells, and with our TREX1 inhibitors, we have identified a way to stop the cancer cells’ ability to hide from the immune system. We have now reached a strong competitive position in the program’s development and look forward to discussions with potential partners,” says Martin Andersson, Chief Scientific Officer, Sprint Bioscience.

DISA project

The target protein in the Sprint Bioscience DISA project, TREX1 (three-prime repair exonuclease 1), is a protein that breaks down DNA fragments outside the cell nucleus and thus helps cancer cells escape the immune system. Scientific studies have previously shown that there is a link between elevated levels of the TREX1 protein and inferior survival for patients with certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

The body’s immune response towards cancer cells can be strengthened by inhibiting TREX1, which opens up the potential to enhance the effect of other therapies such as immuno-oncology therapy, radiation therapy, and cytotoxic drug treatment. Sprint Bioscience has determined the three-dimensional structure of the human TREX1 protein, not previously reported in the scientific literature. This enables the company to make full use of the power of the fragment-based technology for drug development (FBDD) that is the company’s hallmark, and at the same time further increases the opportunities to build shareholder value in this program, it states.

“Inhibiting TREX1 is a unique approach with great potential to enhance the effect of several current therapies. Many modern cancer drugs depend on the immune system being able to identify the cancer cells, and with our TREX1 inhibitors, we have identified a way to stop the cancer cells’ ability to hide from the immune system. We have now reached a strong competitive position in the program’s development and look forward to discussions with potential partners,” says Andersson.

Photo of Martin Andersson: Fredrik Hjerling