Skip to main content
< Back to news
Laura Nevola and Santiago Esteban (IDP Pharma). Barcelona Science Park.

IDP Pharma starts clinical trials of its first-in-class IDP-121 drug in hematological cancers and opens a financing round of €1M

The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices has authorised the clinical trial of IDP-121, developed by IDP Pharma, the first drug blocking and degrading a key oncoprotein in several hematological tumors, including multiple myeloma, a currently incurable cancer. The company, which is based in the Barcelona Science Park, has opened a financing round of €1M on the Capital Cell crowdfunding platform.

IDP Pharma, pioneer in the development of cancer drugs attacking intrinsically disordered oncoproteins (IDPs), seeks to expand funding for the clinical trial of its first-in-class drug IDP-121, which will include patients with diffuse lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and multiple myeloma, several of the blood cancers where the oncoprotein that targets IDP-121 plays a key role. In the case of multiple myeloma, the second most frequent and currently incurable blood cancer, IDP-121 is the first drug capable of blocking and degrading the protein responsible for the initiation and progression of the disease.

Approximately 170,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed every year and 117,000 people die from it. In spite of the fact that modern treatments are improving patient prognosis, the cancer is often resistant and patients are obliged to undergo several types of therapy, eventually running out of therapeutic options.

The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) has now authorised the clinical trial of IDP-121, developed by IDP Pharma, which deactivates one of the disease’s protein drivers. The trial will take place in Spain and involves centres of excellence in clinical research such as Marqués de Valdecillas Hospital (Santander), Vall d´Hebron Hospital (Barcelona), 12 de Octubre Hospital (Madrid) and Salamanca University Hospital. The trial will begin this July and results are expected by the end of 2024.

“IDP-121 acts directly on the protein that drives the disease instead of intervening in the multiple pathways that can activate the protein in the tumour. This has not been successfully achieved until now,” explains Laura Nevola, Chief Scientific Officer at IDP Pharma. “The priority is to show the effects of IDP-121 in patients with multiple myeloma for the first time and this will open up the possibility of applications in other types of cancer,” she adds.

According to Enrique Ocio, Head of Haematology Services at Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, “Using this new molecule may allow us to block a key mechanism in the progression of resistant multiple myelomas, providing a new therapeutic opportunity for these patients.”

“Despite the recent advances in the treatment of lymphoma, there is still a percentage of patients who experience disease relapses. Therefore, the development of new therapeutic options targeting specific pathways of lymphoma is of vital importance for these patients,” explains Dr. Pau Abrisqueta, clinical coordinator of the Experimental Hematology Group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and hematologist at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital.

The clinical trial is backed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, which is providing €1.2 million through the Retos-Colaboración (Challenges-Collaboration) competition programme for R+D projects. In order to finance the entire trial, IDP Pharma has started a campaign on the Capital Cell platform, which specialises in micro financing in the biotech sector.

“Micro-financing mechanisms are hugely versatile,” points out Santiago Esteban, Chief Executive Officer at IDP Pharma. “They allow companies to raise funds efficiently while allowing society to invest directly in technology and get a share in the return from companies with high added value, which was only possible via investment funds until just recently.”

A €20Bn market

The multiple myeloma market has experienced accelerated growth over the past decade, amounting to sales of €20 billion in 2022. A compound annual growth rate of 6.6% is forecast until 2027, due to population ageing, increased obesity, and the penetration of new therapies, among other factors. An indicator of the interest pharmaceutical companies have in positioning themselves in this market can be seen in patent purchase agreements for new therapies fighting this disease, with values of up to €850 million for licenses for products at the initial stages of clinical development.

IDP Pharma has reached several licensing and co-development agreements with biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the United States and Europe for the treatment of diseases in areas as diverse as dermatology, ophthalmology, and respiratory diseases. “Having the first technology capable of tackling diseases driven by IDPs has brought us acknowledgement and validation in the pharmaceutical industry,” underlines Esteban. “Completing the IDP-121 clinical trial is the company’s most important milestone and there is no doubt that it will be transformative for patients and the industry”, concludes.

» More information:

» Video on how IDP-121 medication works:

» Capital Cell financing round: