CRT, DMU, BBSF and the Gray Cancer Institute (GCI) established Spear Therapeutics to drive the development of a novel class of anti-cancer therapeutics. The new class of cancer drugs arose from research carried out at both DMU and GCI, which was supported by Cancer Research UK.
The portfolio of compounds are prodrugs that are designed to be selectively activated by cancer cells, thereby minimising damage to normal tissues. The most advanced clinical candidates will be applicable to any tumour expressing the enzyme CYP1B1 and as such are directly relevant to the major cancers including breast, lung and prostate.
Marios Fotiadis of Advent International said: “We are excited for the opportunity to advance a novel class of anti-cancer therapies developed by Spear. The structure of this investment allows us to focus our efforts and resources on the clinical development of these novel agents. We expect that this financing will allow Spear to produce meaningful clinical data.”
Spear Therapeutics expects the first of its prodrugs to progress into clinical trials in late 2006.