Two Unique Technology Platforms
Oncopeptides is developing innovative drug candidates for difficult to treat haematological diseases. The development is built on our platforms for Peptide Drug Conjugate (PDC), and Small Polypeptide based Killer Engagers (SPiKE), and allow us to build a robust pipeline, and potentially expand into new indications.
PDC – A true innovation
The PDC based compounds are composed to enable efficient distribution, a wide therapeutic window, and an optimized benefit risk profile. The PDCs are designed around two components: a peptide carrier and a cytotoxic payload. The PDCs are lipophilic which allows a rapid diffusion into the cells. The peptide carrier utilizes the altered metabolism of cancer cells to hydrolyze PDC into active hydrophilic metabolites, which lead to an enrichment in cancer cells.
Melflufen – The first PDC with an alkylating payload
Melflufen is the first PDC with an alkylating payload. The drug utilizes peptidases and esterases that are overexpressed in multiple myeloma cells, to release a toxic payload inside cells, and damage DNA and kill cancer cells.
OPDC3 – Next gemeration PDC
OPDC3 is now undergoing toxicology studies. The compound consists of a peptide carrier and cytotoxic payload. It has enhanced selectivity, and limited toxicity is escaping the cancer cell. This leads to rapid enrichment of the cytotoxic payload in cancer cell lines and may result in limited toxicity in healthy cells. These unique properties may translate into an effective and well tolerated therapeutic option. This warrants further evaluation in clinical studies.
The SPiKE Technology Platform
Oncopeptides has developed a proprietary technology platform for Small Polypeptide based Killer Engagers (SPiKE). In September 2022, the Company received a research grant from Sweden’s Innovation Agency, to develop pre-clinical proof of concept for a novel synthetic small polypeptide for the treatment of multiple myeloma, OP-X. The compound is a Natural Killer (NK) cell engaging immunotherapy, with superior tissue penetration and immune cell activation, and has a potential to boost NK cell engagement across multiple oncology target areas.
By completion of the NK ENGAGE project, the efficacy of the lead compound will be validated in a novel pre-clinical model. The data package generated, may warrant us to enter final preclinical studies including IND enabling studies, and subsequently start clinical development.
The project has received a financial grant from the Eurostars 3-program, it is co-financed by the EU’s research and innovation program “Horizon Europe” and is driven by an international research consortium. This includes worldleading expertise from the department of Cancer Immunology at Oslo University Hospital, Norway, Pharmatest Services Ltd in Turku, Finland, and Oncopeptides, together with our collaborator the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), where the technology originally stems from.