UK-Swedish team turn to crowdfunding for promising new QS nanoparticle-based Leukemia treatment

Moreinx DuecomplusA’s project seeks Euros 1 million for DUE-C100 AML candidate

DuecomplusA, a subsidiary of drug delivery specialists Moreinx AB, today announced it was turning to crowdsourcing to fund Phase I/II trials of DUE-C100, its promising new QS (Quillaja saponaria Molina) nanoparticle based treatment for Acute Myleoid Leukemia (AML).

“We believe this novel approach will strike a chord with the general public by giving them a direct stake in a drug which could benefit either themselves or relatives and friends in the near future, “ says Thomas Zetterberg, chairman of Moreinx and director of the project. “The compound is based on ground breaking science by Professor Bror Morein and his team and the world-famous Karolinska Institute in Stockholm are committed to running the Phase I/II trials if we can raise the necessary funding. We already floated the idea amongst friends and family in the early development stage resulting in ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. This gave us the idea to bypass the normal VC and other channels for biotechs in our position and appeal directly in this way. “
DUE-C100 is based on saponin fractions of Quillaja saponaria Molina (QS) which have long been known to have cytotoxic activity against cancer cells in vitro, but were considered too toxic to be useful in the clinic. Morein and his team have been able to abolish the toxic effect by converting QS fractions into stable nanoparticles through the binding of QS to cholesterol. Two fractions of QS were selected for particle formation, one with anacyl-chain (ASAP) was used to form killing and growth-inhibiting (KGI) particles, and the other without the acyl-chain (DSAP) was used to formulate blocking and balancing effect (BBE) particles. KGI showed significant growth inhibiting and cancer cell-killing activities in nine of 10 AML cell lines while BBE showed similar effects on one cell line.

“We therefore believe the formulation of QS into nanoparticles has the potential to become a new class of anticancer agents. In effect DUE-C100 normalises afflicted cells – ie re-programmes them to complete a normal cell-cycle resulting ultimately in programmed cell death (apoptosis). If the funding is successful, we would look to start testing this theory in the clinic by early 2014. In this way we hope to challenge the conclusion of a recent report by GlobalData that there are no significant breakthroughs on the horizon for AML,” concludes Zetterberg.

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