German oncology biotech Amcure has secured a €6 million pot for its second formal round of funding as it looks to speed up the development of its leading candidate, AMC303.
The funding comes from a group of existing investors, headed up by LBBW Venture Capital, with money also coming from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (the co was spun off from KIT), as well as private investors.
The relatively modest sum will be used on AMC303, which is in phase 1 for advanced, solid tumors, and treated its first patient back in October.
The drug is designed to target CD44v6, an extracellular molecule seen in the pathways of several receptor-tyrosine-kinases.
The drug has the potential to treat a number of cancers, according to the biotech, including pancreatic cancer, head and neck cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer.
In-line with its funding boost, Amcure also expanded its advisory board by taking on Merck Serono and Roche vet, and oncologist, Dr. Bruno Osterwalder.
Dr. Klaus Dembowsky, CEO of Amcure, said: “Our lead candidate, AMC303, has recently entered a phase 1/1b clinical study, therefore this funding comes at a time when the company is taking meaningful steps forward towards achieving a better treatment for patients with advanced solid tumors.
“Today’s financing brings the total amount of capital raised from investors by Amcure to EUR 10 million.”
Last year, German investigators at KIT reported that they had successfully tested a new peptide approach in mice that throws up a hurdle that can blunt and perhaps even stop the development of the disease.
They used tiny segments of the CD44v6 protein, also called v6pep, to interfere with the three-dimensional structure of the target protein, which is what they assume led to the therapeutic effect in mice.
The investigators say that not only did they track a shrinkage of tumors and an inhibition of metastasis, they also say that the metastases regressed in their animal models.
The work was published in the journal Gastroenterology, and is the tech behind Amcure’s med.