"Dual acting cancer therapeutics targeting
SOLID Therapeutics is an early-stage oncology company which is based on research at University of Copenhagen joining expertise in metabolite GPCR structure-based drug discovery in the Schwartz-Frimurer labs at the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF) Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR) with the deep insight into cell biology of the tumor microenvironment in the Falsig Petersen lab. The concept of HCAR1 antagonists as anti-cancer drugs was supported by an Exploratory Pre-Seed grant from NNF, a Pre-Seed grant from the Bioinnovation Institute (BII) and an Innobooster grant from Innovationsfonden. The company was officially founded in March 2022 when accepted into the Venture Lab at BII.
"WE AIM TO DELIVER NOVEL CANCER THERAPEUTICS
WITH DUAL MODE OF ACTION TARGETING
BOTH CANCER CELLS AND IMMUNE CELLS"
ONE target - TWO mechanisms
A hallmark of solid tumors is the hypoxic and acidic microenvironment rich in lactate, which today is known to act as a signaling molecule sensed by the HCAR1/GPR81 receptor. HCAR1 expression is normally highly tissue restricted but is strongly induced by the tumor microenvironment in basically all types of solid tumors including hard-to-treat cancers. Importantly, high HCAR1 expression is associated with poor survival in e.g., breast and pancreatic cancer patients.
HCAR1 is expressed both on cancer cells and anti-cancer immune cells. HCAR1 improves survival of cancer cells by reprogramming their metabolism and upregulating defense mechanisms such as angiogenesis and check-point ligands. Importantly, HCAR1 is also involved directly in immune evasion by decreasing immune cell activation.
HCAR1 antagonists will therefore attack solid tumors in two ways by both directly impairing cancer cell survival and by stimulating tumor immunity.
Lundø et al. Cell Metabol. (2020) 31(4):666-668.
Figure created with BioRender.com
Mette Trauelsen appointed CEO of SOLID Therapeutics
Before being appointed as CEO of SOLID Tx, Mette Trauelsen was postdoc at CBMR/UCPH and head of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at SOLID Tx. Here she established the in vitro assays and spearheaded the development of the in vivo efficacy cancer models.
SOLID Therapeutics receives an Innobooster grant from Innovation Fund Denmark
To expand the preclinical development package, the company receives an Innobooster grant of 1.2 M DKK from Innovation Fund Denmark (under the initial company name Warburg Oncology).
SOLID Therapeutics accepted into BII Venture Lab
The company receives a convertible loan of 0.5 M EUR from BII and is accepted into the BII Venture Lab (under the initial company name Warburg Oncology).
Ole Maaløes Vej 3, 1 floor
DK 2200 Copenhagen N