DTU Spin-out to bring next generation cancer therapy to market

Friday 15 May 20

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Sine Reker Hadrup
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 35 88 62 90
A new biotech company from DTU will soon begin the first phase of clinical studies of personalized medicines aimed at treating severe types of skin cancer.

PokeACell, a new biotech company from DTU, is ready to move into personalized medicines aimed at treating melanoma and merkel cell carcinoma – both severe types of skin cancer. PokeACell's technology is the next generation of cancer immunotherapy that targets cancer cells based on personalized strategies. The company will soon begin their first phase of clinical studies.

"Our vision is to develop a personalized cell product with curative potential for cancer patients with no treatment options today"
Prof. and CSO Sine R. Hadrup

The next generation of immunotherapy
In recent years, immunotherapy has proven itself as a succesful approach to cancer therapy. However, often immunotherapy strategies lacks tumor targeting, and provide a general boost of immune reactivity rather than a tumor specific targeting. This may cause side effects and many types of cancer still lack treatment.

 

To avoid this, the next generation of immunotherapy will specifically target cancer cells based on personalized strategies, which is expected to be more efficient and have significantly fewer side effects.

 

“Our vision is to develop a personalized cell product with curative potential for cancer patients with no treatment options today”, says Prof. and CSO Sine R. Hadrup

 

PokeACell will base their T cell product on patients own blood, from which they will expand cancer-specific T cells outside the body. Using our ImmPACT technology we can specifically activate the patients’ T cells towards tumor specific antigen of relevance. This creates a powerful T cell product, without genetic modifications, that can be returned to the individual patient for tumor killing.

 

The new T cells will boost the patient’s own immune system and ultimately increase cancer survival through higher tumor killing and enhance the patients’ life quality significantly.

 

“Preclinical data show an advantageous profile of our cell product compared to other cell products known to generate clinical results. The cells are more likely to survive and expand when infused back into the patient and they mediated stronger tumor cell reactivity”, Prof. Sine R. Hadrup explains.

 

Third spin out in 5 years

The now DTU patented technology is the yet another innovation based on over 20 years of research within T cell recognition and cancer immunotherapy, conducted by Professor Sine Reker Hadrup from DTU Health Tech who will take the role as CSO. Sine has previously co-founded ImmuMap and Tetramer Shop, but PokeAcell is the first company with a therapeutic intentions.

 

Alongside Anne Reker Cordt (CEO) and Søren N. Jakobsen (CTO), she is getting ready to commercialise this incredible amount of knowledge to improve people’s life in a huge market, where estimated 4000-10000 patients could benefit from this treatment every year.

 

“Our ambition is to prove the curative potential of the treatment through clinical trials and then expand into other types of cancer to help even more patients”, says Prof. Sine R. Hadrup

 

The company has recently been accepted in BioInnovation Institute’s programme, Creation House, with DKK 10M in funding.

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