Spin-off from the Charité
Dr Frank Zollmann, Dr Heiko Funke-Kaiser
Innovation & Business Idea
Small molecule-based, first-in-class renin / prorenin receptor blockers (RERBs) targeting a systems biological nodel point for first- and second-line oncological indications of high medical need (colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, sarcoma).
Concerning the oncological entities successfully analysed in our proof-of-concept models, colorectal, liver and pancreatic cancers caused 694.000, 746.000 and 330.400 deaths worldwide in 2012, respectively.
Number of pharmacological competitors depending on the indication.
To the best of our knowledge, no other groups or companies are developing small molecule-based RERBs.
Intellectual Property Status
Freedom-to-operate (FTO) given. Lead compound is a completely novel chemical structure.
Development Status & Future Steps
Development of a pre-clinical development candidate (PDC) in cooperation with Evotec as CRO:
We revealed a novel signal transduction pathway used as a read-out for two independent high-throughput screenings (HTS). An initial medicinal chemistry program (MC) resulted in the identification of distinct chemical series followed by a second MC program focusing on two series. For selected series: < 10 synthesis steps; SAR given; positive target deconvolution; oral bioavailability; positive in vivo proof-of-concept experiments regarding oncological indications; biomarker development program and preclinical development initiated.
Potential exit points: IND in year 2; clinical POC (phase IIa) after year 4.
(1) PD Dr. Heiko Funke-Kaiser, M.D.:
track record in gene regulation, signal transduction and experimental pharmacology
(2) Dr. Frank S. Zollmann, M.D.:
successful transfer of preclinical projects into clinical phases
(3) Prof. Dr. Werner Skuballa, Ph.D.:
formerly Head of Medicinal Chemistry 5 Schering AG
(4) Prof. Dr. Thomas Unger, M.D.:
Scientific Director, CARIM, Maastricht University
(5) Thomas Fink, MBA:
financing of multiple biotech companies
9 million EUR in 4 years (i.e., until end of phase IIa)
Commercial Partner, Funding