Treating cancer using anti-Myc peptides
Myc is a protein that allows cancer cells to divide and survive treatment. In contrast to standard therapies, inhibiting Myc selectively kills cancer cells without side effects in normal tissues. The approach has the potential to treat all cancer patients, regardless of their mutational status. While Myc inhibition is recognised as an invaluable therapeutic strategy, a Myc inhibitor has yet to become clinically available.
In preclinical cancer models Peptomyc have already demonstrated that their innovation has:
- No toxicity;
- No emergence of resistance irrespective of mutations within the tumour;
- Increased survival, with data indicating double life expectancy in brain tumours and shrinkage or eradication of lung and breast cancers; and
- Synergies with standard chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Peptomyc aims at developing its products through pre-clinical phase and phase I/II clinical trials, to then license to a Big Pharma. The innovation is set to be instrumental in tackling the cancer challenge, providing social impact at both EU and global scale, and contributing to positioning Europe at the forefront of innovation in cancer treatment.
Results to date
Peptomyc has raised several rounds of funding (with VCs and business angels) as well as almost €2 million in public grants (H2020 SME Instrument Phase I, RETOS, APC and NEOTEC grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, and a PAT grant from the Catalan Agency for Business Competitiveness (ACCIÓ)).
In 2016 they were selected among the “best of the best” finalists at the EIT Health Summit, and awarded a prize in the biotech category. In 2017, Peptomyc was also recipient of the Spanish EIT Health Catapult prize and won an EIT Health Headstart grant.
After numerous other awards and recognitions, in September 2017, Series A financing of €4.2 million was confirmed, led by Alta Life Sciences Spain I FCR. This funding will further the development and commercialisation of products in all areas of life sciences and across both sides of the Atlantic. This investment round also includes Healthequity and Business Angels that had already participated in the seed round of 2016.
This latest investment provides the capital necessary to significantly advance the industrial CMC manufacturing of the peptides and their validation in safety and efficacy non-clinical regulatory studies. It also extends the field of activity beyond Europe to the United States.
A next round of investment is forecast for the end of 2019, with clinical trials set to start in 2020.
October 2018 saw Laura Soucek, Peptomyc’s CEO, become a finalist for the EIT Woman Entrepreneurship and Leadership Award and a winner of the public-voted EIT Public Award 2018.
Benefits of EIT Health support
The business support and funding won through the EIT Health Catapult and Headstart programmes support Peptomyc with steps towards the market, shortening time-to-market for innovative products and services. They also represented EIT Health at the EIT Health Journalists Thematic Network Meeting, Paris, May 2017, where they were given further exposure and an enviable opportunity to introduce the project to the international press.
With her nomination to the EIT Awards 2018, Laura Soucek and Peptomyc have also received more European-wide publicity European and national media.
Vision & goals
Our goal is to offer more efficient and less toxic therapeutic options for the treatment of multiple types of cancer.
Dr. Laura Soucek (Founder and CEO; Principal Investigator at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology, ICREA Research Professor and Associate Professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain); Dr. Marie-Eve Beaulieu (Co.founder and CSO); Dr. Laia Foradada and Dr. Silvia Casacuberta (staff scientists of the company); Healthequity (Dr. Lluis Pareras, Director of HE and representative of VCs); Jordi Vila (COO of Jormavi S.L., representative of BAs).
Founding Year: 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Contact: Laura Soucek, CEO
See a video about Laura Soucek, CEO: