KANCERA initiates Phase II of anti-hyperinflammation drug in COVID-19 patients

Stockholm, May 20, 2020, Kancera today announces that the company has submitted an application to the Swedish Medicines Agency for permission to conduct a Phase II clinical study of the drug candidate KAND567 in COVID-19 patients. The ultimate goal of the clinical development is to curb hyperinflammation and thus avoid intensive care treatment and long-term rehabilitation for patients with COVID-19. The study will be conducted in collaboration with Capio St. Görans Hospital and the Science for Life Laboratory in Stockholm

Kancera has previously communicated that the company has filed a patent application for KAND567 for the treatment and prevention of hyperinflammation in viral infections, a condition that is being seen in seriously ill patients in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hyperinflammation can occur when the immune system fails in the first stage of fighting the virus. The immune system then risks becoming imbalanced and overreacting through a second wave of inflammation - hyperinflammation - which can lead to overloading of vital organs such as the lung and heart.

“Hyperinflammation can lead to serious complications in both myocardial infarction and severe viral infections such as  COVID-19. Myocardial infarction has been our main focus, but we now also want to explore the possibility of developing a treatment based on KAND567 for COVID-19. As a drug development company, it is our responsibility to work with researchers and healthcare providers to make every effort to contribute to the improvement of care for patients affected by COVID-19 and we believe we alreadyhave the resources to run this study as well, "says Thomas Olin, CEO of Kancera.

Kancera's drug candidate KAND567 works by blocking the Fractalkine receptor. The receptor plays a key role when the body's immune system initiates the inflammatory process. When the Fractalkine receptor is blocked by treatment with KAND567, certain types of immune cells are prevented from accumulating in various tissues and organs, which can attenuate a harmful inflammatory reaction. Because KAND567 acts selectively only against cytotoxic immune cells, treatment is expected to support the immune system's ability to fight the virus that causes covid-19 with antibodies.

A collaboration has now been initiated between Kancera, Capio St. Görans Hospital AB (Mantas Okas, MD, PhD and Mats Wistrand, MD) and Petter Brodin, MD, PhD, Science for Life Laboratory, with the aim of implementing the Phase II clinical trial of KAND567 in patients with COVID-19. In addition, Scandinavian CRO AB, Scandinavian Development Services AB and Ardena NV will contribute to the study with clinical coordination, data management and manufacturing.

According to the application, the study has an open design in which the medical staff and patients are informed whether the current treatment consists of either KAND567 in combination with the best standard treatment or only the best standard treatment. During the study, strict objective analyses of treatment effects are performed including oxygen saturation and respiratory capacity. In addition, detailed mapping of immunological regulation at the cell and gene regulatory level will be carried out.

The study, which is ready to start at short notice after approval, is planned to include 40 patients, half of whom are treated with KAND567 (the other half consists of controls). The treatment with KAND567 is oral in the form of capsules twice a day for seven days. Follow-up health examinations and sampling take place after the end of treatment and again after 90 days.

About Kancera AB
Kancera develops drugs that counteract damage during acute and chronic inflammation. The Fractalkine blocker KAND567 is primarily developed to effectively and selectively reduce the inflammation of the heart and vessels following a heart attack and is expected to apply for a clinical phase II study during 2020. Since scientific studies have shown elevated levels of fractalkine not only in heart attacks but also in inflammatory conditions including virus infections and certain forms of cancer, there are several possible development opportunities for the fractalkine blockers KAND567 and KAND145. In collaboraton with academic groups, Kancera also develops preclinical drug projects against cancer aimed at stopping survival signals in the cancer cell and preventing the cancer cell's ability to be repaired. Kancera operates at Karolinska Institutet Science Park in Stockholm. The share is traded on Nasdaq First North. FNCA Sweden AB (tel. 08-528 00 399, info@fnca.se) is the company's Certified Adviser. MD PhD Charlotte Edenius, MD PhD Anders Gabrielsen, Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin and Professor Håkan Mellstedt are all scientific advisors and board members of Kancera AB.

For further information, contact:
Thomas Olin, CEO: +46-(0)735-20 40 01

Address:
Kancera AB (publ)
Karolinska Institutet Science Park
Banvaktsvägen 22
SE 171 48 Solna
Sweden.

Home page: http://www.kancera.com

To read more Press Release articles, click here.