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A novel targeted therapy to treat breast cancer

Our project investigates the biology of cancer, particularly breast cancer. Our team looks at developing targeted therapies that could be more efficient than existing therapies to treat this form of cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. It is a very heterogeneous disease, accounting for several different tumor subtypes. The causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, although there are identified/known risks factors such as age, family history, being overweight or obese, alcohol, radiation therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Incidence in 2012 was highest for breast cancer in OECD countries, accounting for 12.9% of all new cancer cases (OECD, Health at a glance report 2017).

Our project is based on a discovery of a novel therapeutic target for the treatment for breast cancer. In the so called “triple negative breast cancer” scenario, the three most common breast cancer biomarkers are lacking, excluding hormonal therapies and limiting treatments option the aggressive chemotherapy. This form of cancer is more common among younger woman and has the highest unmet medical needs. Our project ambitions is to leverage the discoveries made in the project and translate these to give new hope for triple negative breast cancer patients.

Our team explored differences in metabolism of cancer patients to identify potential new targets and personalized therapies that could help treat cancer patients more effectively. Our team has identified a new target overexpressed in breast cancer patients and demonstrated that depletion of the target can reduce tumor growth in in vitro experiments. Structural bioinformatics tools have enabled identification of hit molecules that could be used to treat cancer patients once develop Into a drug.

Our commercial goal is to develop novel targeted therapy and efficient compounds for triple negative cancer patient and position our R&D program for entering a license agreement with a pharmaceutical partner at an early stage.

The project is based on biology research conducted at the University of Bergen, where a novel biological target that could be used to treat cancer patients was discovered. The project is currently in a hit validation phase and is optimizing a screening cascade that would support drug development activity at a high pace. The present project aims at establishing an operational screening cascade for accelerating the development of novel inhibitory compounds and received an exploratory pre-seed from Novo (Denmark).

They are looking for early stage funding to move the project into hit-to-lead optimisation.

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UT Southwestern Medical Centre (Dallas, USA)
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