Beactica said today it will partner with Uppsala University and the Drug Discovery and Development Platform at the SciLifeLab research laboratory to study the effect of small molecules being developed by the company on brain cancer stem cells.

The research collaboration—whose value was not disclosed—is intended to evaluate and characterize the preclinical efficacy of Beactica’s allosteric modulators of the epigenetic protein lysine-specific histone demethylase 1 (LSD1) in glioma-inducing cells. Beactica’s compounds will also be evaluated in combination with multiple undisclosed anticancer agents.

“These studies will provide important insights into our compounds’ ability to show efficacy in a cancer with extremely poor prognosis. We want to stake out a path for a first-in-class therapeutic that will benefit patients,” Beactica CEO Per Källblad, Ph.D., said in a statement.

The collaboration will use the glioma-initiating stem cells developed by Bengt Westermark, Ph.D., and Anna Segerman, M.D., Ph.D., both of Uppsala University’s faculty of medicine. Their cell clones are established from fresh biopsies and characterized with regard to genotype, phenotype, and treatment response, including standard treatment of care for glioblastoma.

“Early results from the collaboration indicate a potential to enhance the effect of established treatment in glioblastoma cells,” added Dr. Segerman, who is lead researcher for the glioma clone platform.

Beactica said the research will be carried out at the In Vitro and Systems Pharmacology Facility of SciLifeLab’s Drug Discovery and Development Platform. SciLifeLab is a national center for molecular biosciences established through a partnership between Uppsala and three other universities: Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Stockholm University.

Founded in 2006 to commercialize technology developed at Uppsala, Beactica focuses on fragment-based drug discovery using SPR biosensor technology.

Beactica aims to build a pipeline of novel small-molecule inhibitors to address unmet medical needs, with priority programs specializing in epigenetic regulation of various cancer forms through the selective and reversible inhibition of lysine-specific histone demethylases, e.g., LSD1/lysine-specific histone demethylase 1 (AKDM1A). The company cites research showing that inhibitors of this enzyme class can be used for the treatment of several common cancers, and possibly other diseases.

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