Cancer Research Technology and Medivir collaborate to develop new class of cancer drugs

2015-04-13 00:00:00

Cancer Research Technology (CRT), Cancer Research UK’s commercialisation and development arm, and Medivir AB (Nasdaq Stockholm: MVIR) today (Monday) jointly announce a partnership to develop a new class of drugs that has shown promise for treating a range of different cancers, especially breast and pancreatic cancer.

As part of the collaboration, CRT and Medivir will conduct a two-year research programme to optimize and develop small molecules targeting the cell surface protein ADAM8, which has been linked to tumour survival, cell invasion and metastasis.

Under the terms of the agreement Medivir receives an exclusive, global license to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize ADAM8 inhibitor drugs resulting from development. CRT receives an upfront payment and future success milestones as well as royalties on sales which are shared with the academic collaborators.

Blocking ADAM8 in mice with pancreatic cancer prevented the spread of the disease, shrunk tumours and significantly extended lifespan. This is thought to be due to its involvement in cell adhesion, cell migration, inflammation and the growth of blood vessels – key processes that many cancers rely on for growth and development. High levels of the protein have been linked with more aggressive tumours including those in pancreatic, brain, prostate, lung, head and neck, and kidney cancers.

This research will be led by Professor Jörg Bartsch as head of the TransMIT-Project Division for Research in Neuro-Oncology at TransMIT GmbH, located at Marburg University in Germany, in collaboration with Medivir. Prof. Bartsch previously worked at King’s College London where the initial patent application was filed by King’s College IP and Licensing team. Further proof of concept studies were funded by Cancer Research UK at King’s College.

Professor Bartsch said: “We are very glad and excited to see this collaboration come to life. The synergy of expertise between Medivir and our Laboratory forms an excellent platform for successful exploration of this first-in-class approach to targeted therapy against ADAM8. This really is ‘bench-to bedside’ research at its best.”

Niklas Prager, Medivir’s CEO, said: “This collaboration is a demonstration of our commitment to advance oncology drug discovery at Medivir and we are pleased to partner with such a renowned institution such as Cancer Research UK, and with Professor Bartsch, a leading researcher in the field.”

Dr Keith Blundy, Cancer Research Technology’s chief executive officer, said: “Medivir’s significant expertise in protease inhibitor design coupled with CRT’s proven track record in drug development will hopefully pave the way for an exciting new class of drugs for treating cancer. Exploratory studies indicate that ADAM8 is an attractive target across many types of cancer, and potentially other diseases driven by inflammation, and we look forward to further exploring that promise through this innovative collaboration.”


For further information, please contact:

Ailsa Stevens, CRT press office, +44 (0)203 469 8300 or, out of hours, the duty press officer on +44 (0) 7050 264 059.

Ola Burmark, CFO Medivir AB, mobile: +46 (0)725-480 580.

Notes to editors

Medivir is required under the Securities Markets Act to make the information in this press release public.

The information was submitted for publication at 08.30 CET on 13 April 2015.

About Medivir

Medivir is a research based pharmaceutical company with a research focus on infectious diseases and oncology. We have a leading competence within protease inhibitor design and nucleotide/nucleoside science and we are dedicated to develop innovative pharmaceuticals that meet great unmet medical need. Our commercial organization provides a growing portfolio of specialty care pharmaceuticals on the Nordic market. Medivir is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm Mid Cap List.

About Cancer Research Technology

Cancer Research Technology (CRT) is a specialist commercialisation and development company, which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies. CRT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK, the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Further information about CRT can be found at

About Cancer Research UK

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