Optimum weekly round up – 23/02/24

It was an exciting week for Optimum’s clients with a slew of scientific data announced ahead of the ESMO Targeted Anticancer Therapies Conference 2024 – a high-profile cancer conference on the 26 February.

STORM to present findings of First-in-Class METTL1 tRNA Methyltransferase Inhibitors

STORM Therapeutics Ltd, the clinical stage biotechnology company discovering and developing novel small molecule therapies targeting RNA modifying enzymes (RMEs) for oncology and other diseases, is to present data at the ESMO Targeted Anticancer Therapies Congress 2024.

Alexandra Sapetschnig, Group Leader at STORM, announced the company will present results and conclusions on its METTL1 tRNA methyltransferase program.

The presentation entitled “Targeting the tRNA methyltransferase METTL1 with small molecule inhibitors in cancer” illustrates STORM’s new data showing that pharmacological inhibition of a tRNA methyltransferase affects tumour growth in animal models.

For more information on STORM click the link here.


Kling to report on advancing pipeline of therapeutic antibodies

Kling Biotherapeutics, a clinical stage biotech company developing antibody-based drugs against targets identified from its primary B-cell screening platform, is also to present discoveries on its Primary B-Cell Screening Platform at the ESMO Targeted Anticancer Therapies Conference.

Amsterdam-based Kling will report on an advancing pipeline of therapeutic antibodies targeting novel antigens discovered with its best-in-class B-cell screening platform, Kling-Select.

This includes progress on in vitro and in vivo validation of two highly specific tumour antigens is reported: CD43s, a sialylated-glyco epitope, and U5snRNP200, an ectopically expressed antigen highly specific for AML blast.

The lead program KBA1412 is advancing in a phase 1 clinical study, targeting advanced solid malignant tumours.

For more information on Kling Biotherapeutics click the link here.


Rejuvenate Biomed’s clinical trial demonstrates therapeutic potential of Rjx-01 in sarcopenia

Rejuvenate Biomed NV, a pioneering clinical-stage platform and pipeline company committed to enhancing lifelong health through innovative therapeutics, on Wednesday announced breakthrough functional outcome results from its Phase 1b trial of lead candidate RJx-01 for the treatment of sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia, a condition affecting up to 22% of 65-year-olds and 50% of 80-year-olds, is characterised by the progressive loss of muscle strength and physical performance. This decline not only impacts the quality of life but also elevates the risk of falls, disability, and mortality, particularly among the older population.

RJx-01 is a proprietary combination drug that was identified by the Company’s in-house drug discovery platform and has shown beneficial effects on various preclinical models of sarcopenia.

The recent exploratory clinical trial results, which follow earlier confirmation of safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics, highlight the potential of RJx-01 in addressing the unmet need for effective sarcopenia treatments.

For more information on Rejuvenate Biomed click the link here.


Novo Nordisk Foundation awards DKK 150 million for Copenhagen Center for Biomedical Quantum Sensing

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded a grant of DKK 150 million (nearly $22 million) to establish the Copenhagen Center for Biomedical Quantum Sensing.

The centre will host an international collaboration aiming to develop novel quantum sensing principles and techniques for early detection of diseases.

Advancing quantum sensing technology enables them to register and measure small changes in motion and electric and magnetic fields far better than classical sensors.

This will enable the sensing of faint signals buried deep within the body, such as weak electromagnetic impulses from nerves, the heart or the brain. This provides important information that can facilitate earlier detection and prevention of diseases.

Under this ambitious new research project, researchers at the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Texas at Austin aim to advance quantum sensing and imaging technologies in medical diagnostics and healthcare.

For more information on the Novo Nordisk Foundation click the link here.


Year of successes for Calliditas

Calliditas Therapeutics announced results highlighting a year of success in 2023, culminating in the full FDA approval in December of Tarpeyo (budesonide) delayed release capsules to reduce the loss of kidney function in adults with primary immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN). Tarpeyo was first approved in December 2021 to treat IgAN in the US under accelerated approval, based on the surrogate marker of proteinuria.

Net sales for January-December 2023 were SEK 1,206.9 billion (around USD 117 million), up from SEK 802.9 million (around USD 78 million) in January-December 2022.

Key takeaways from Q4 2023 included Calliditas’ partner Everest Medicines announcing that China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) had approved Nefecon for the treatment of IgAN in adults at risk of disease progression.

In November, Calliditas announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical study to evaluate setanaxib in Alport syndrome.

And in December, Calliditas received approval (Notice of Allowance) regarding a US patent application for Tarpeyo. In the first quarter of 2024, notice was issued regarding the patent, which provides patent protection in the US through 2043.

For more information on Calliditas click the link here.