Continued progress in the development of new cancer therapies

2022-05-30

“We are now fully focused on bringing our ADAC technology to the clinic,” says Sara Mangsbo, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, who in a new article presents the latest advances in the development of a method with the capacity to open new doors for immune treatments against cancer.

Sara Mangsbo, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy
Sara Mangsbo, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor, the Faculty of Pharmacy

With a new technology that teaches our immune system to identify tumors and create the T-cells to destroy them, Sara Mangsbo, research director in immuno-oncology, is well on her way to turn the vision of tailored immunotherapies against cancer into reality. In a new article in scientific journal Advanced Therapeutics, her team at Uppsala University's Faculty of Pharmacy presents their latest results, giving every reason for continued optimism.

“With the support of SciLifeLab, we have developed a method where we, by injecting a carrier molecule loaded with synthetic peptides expose the tumor to the immune system. This stimulates the body’s production of tumor-specific T cells, which in turn lead the already existing T cells to identify and destroy the tumor. A lot of work remains, but we are making fast progress in the right direction and if we reach our goal, our platform has the potential to revolutionize cancer care in both cost-effective and time-efficient ways,” says Sara Mangsbo.

Sara Mangsbo, Department of Pharmacy
Sara Mangsbo, Department of Pharmacy

The research group's success with the Adaptable Drug Affinity Conjugate (ADAC) is making headlines in both Swedish and international media, and is also arousing great interest in the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, development is conducted within the framework of Uppsala-based company Strike Pharma AB, which one year after being launched has carried out two highly successful financing rounds, and in February presented venture capital fund Eir Ventures as new main financier.

“We are impressed by the ADAC technology and the level of expertise amongst the Strike Pharma team. It is our firm belief that, in the future, the ADAC technology and platform can take precision medicine to a new level, facilitating development of other patient-specific, antibody-based therapeutics with the capacity across a wide a variety of disease indications,” says Magnus Persson, Chair and co-founder of Eir Ventures.

Most recent to praise the ADAC technology is IVA, The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA, that in May awarded Sara Mangsbo's innovation a prominent place on its 100 List of the hottest research projects in Sweden. IVA acknowledges "Potential for business development and benefit for users, companies and society" aiming to provide the foundation for new bridges between academia and industry that can contribute to turn research with potential to change the world into actual benefits.

“Our position on the 100 list is an extremely important injection in our work to make ADAC and Strike Pharma visible. We can already see how more and more people show interest in our operations, which is important for future recruitments and adds important energy throughout the organisation. We will now continue to develop our technology, aiming to reach clinical studies sometime in 2024 and the prognosis looks very promising,” says Sara Mangsbo.

FACTS

  • Adaptable Drug Affinity Conjugate (ADAC), developed by Sara Mangsbo, is based on creating synthetic fragments of proteins, similar to those found in the tumor and injecting them into the patient.
  • This exposes the tumor to the immune system, which consequently begins to produce completely new, tumor-specific T cells, which in turn lead the already existing T cells to identify and destroy the tumor.

LEARN MORE

CONTACT

Sara Mangsbo, Associate Professor
Faculty of Pharmacy, Uppsala University
Sara.Mangsbo@farmbio.uu.se

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

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Last modified: 2022-03-31