amcure announced the award of an approximately €1.9 million grant by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The grant covers half the investment needed to advance amcure’s lead candidate through preclinical and into clinical development with the other half coming from a consortium led by LBBW Venture Capital, with participations from KfW, MBG Mittelstaendische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Wuerttemberg, S-Kap Beteiligungen Pforzheim, BioM AG as well as private investors. The project will support the initiation of first-in-man studies for amcure’s lead candidate for the treatment of epithelial tumors, expected to begin in mid-2016. Ascenion’s coaching program, the Spinnovator, supported amcure from the beginning, including the financing phase.
The considerable therapeutic potential of amcure’s approach has recently been underscored by a publication in the peer-reviewed journal “Gastroenterology” entitled “Inhibition of Tumor Growth and Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer Models by interference with CD44v6 Signaling” by lead author Dr. Alexandra Matzke-Ogi, CSO and co-founder of amcure, and Prof. Véronique Orian-Rousseau from the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Scientific Advisor of amcure. The paper further validates the role of CD44v6 as one of the key drivers for tumor growth and metastasis and the high efficacy of inhibiting its co-receptor function.
„The continued support by the German government acknowledges the excellent scientific basis of our approach and the outstanding progress the research team at amcure and its collaboration partners have made. Including the recent award, the BMBF has granted a total of €2.4 million to date. The financing will support amcure in advancing cancer compounds using a novel mode of action into clinical evaluation,” commented Dr. Matthias Klaften, COO/CFO and co-founder of amcure.
Dr. Alexandra Matzke-Ogi added: „The publication of this paper adds further validation to amcure’s therapeutic approach to target cancer cells with high metastatic potential.”
amcure’s therapeutic approach is based on targeting CD44v6, a cell surface protein discovered at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The protein acts as a co-receptor for the activation of several receptor-tyrosine-kinases such as c-MET and VEGFR-2, which are involved in the process of blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) and ultimately tumor growth and formation of metastases.