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Argon Pharma to lead European project to create new oral drugs for minority cancers

By 23 de April de 2013November 18th, 2020No Comments
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"WispATDrug" consortium members. © Parc Científic de Barcelona.

Argon Pharma to lead European project to create new oral drugs for minority cancers

The PCB has just hosted the launch meeting of the European project "WispATDrug" (acronym for 'Lead optimization for innovative, orally bioavailable wide spectrum antitumor drugs'), which aims to develop new oral antitumor drugs for specific indications with a important unmet medical need, especially cancer orphan diseases (such as cancer of the pancreas) and other cancer indications of highest prevalence (such as colon cancer).

The project, which runs for three years, has a budget € 1,507,000 and is funded by the initiative Eurotransbio ERA-NET program as part of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union that aims to support I + D cooperative projects with public-private collaboration schemes between companies, especially SMEs, and academic labs by coordinating their publickly funded national or regional pograms . In Catalonia, it is managed by ACC1Ó, an agency ascribed to the Department of Business and Employment of the Generalitat of Catalonia

“WispATDrug” will be developed through an international consortium led by Argon Pharma -a biotech located at the Parc Científic de Barcelona- and involves four more companies from Germany and Finland, with complementary resources and capabilities that combine applied research in medicinal chemistry and biotechnology: biopharmaceutical companies ElexoPharm GmbH (Germany), PharmBioTec GmbH (Germany), and biotech service companies (CRO) Pharmacelsus (Germany) and Admescope (Finland).

The majority of chemotherapeutic drugs currently in the market interfere with DNA synthesis by inhibiting their replication or cell division. All these drugs have significant side effects in common: their toxicity in normal, healthy cells, especially those with a high rate of replication (blood cells or intestinal cells). On the other hand, they require hospital intravenous administration, which entails a high economic and social cost.

The purpose of this project is to develop innovative oral drugs with improved toxicity profile, more convenient dosing and an improved formulation to increase the quality of life of patients and their well-being during and after treatment.

“To achieve this goal we have created a private consortium, strong and capable, with biotech SMEs with complementary expertise in the investigation and optimization of new drug candidates (lead optimization), especially in areas such as rational drug design, medicinal chemistry , screening technologies and screening of new hits and ADME / toxicity. The composition of this group has the advantage of increasing collaboration with the European industry to generate intellectual property using the capabilities of public research centers, “says Ramon Roca, CEO of Argon Pharma.