Stopping cancer metastases with peptides

Spinnovator – Dr. Matthias Klaften – amcure GmbH, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen



Beneficiary: amcure GmbH
Funding: 01.06.2014 bis 28.02.2019, 4.236.315 Euro

Project description

Despite great progress in cancer therapy - especially due to immunoncology in recent years - there still is an urgent medical need for new therapy concepts in the treatment of metastasizing tumors. A promising approach uses peptides that intervene in central signaling pathways of tumor growth. They inhibit tumor neoplasm and block the migration of cancer cells and their invasion into other organs without significantly affecting other cell types or organs.

Founded in 2012 as a spin-off of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), amcure is pursuing exactly this approach and developing new peptide-based therapeutics for cancer patients. AMC303 has been in preclinical and clinical development since 2014. The molecule binds specifically to the surface molecule CD44v6, which plays an important role in many tumor types, particularly in the spread and development of metastases. In some tumors, a high expression of CD44v6 on the tumor cells indicates a poor prognosis. The blocking of this surface molecule with amcure could open up completely new applications in tumor therapy in the long term. After first promising preclinical tests, the active substance AMC303 has been tested in a first clinical study at three European cancer centers since October 2016. This study primarily investigates how the substance is tolerated in humans. If the observations from the preclinical tests are confirmed, with AMC303 amcure could lay the foundation for a much more effective tumor therapy that has fewer side effects.

Since 2014, the development of the active substance AMC303 and the ongoing clinical trial have been accelerated with the help of investors (Series A in May 2014 for EUR 3.7 million, Series B in December 2016 for EUR 6 million) and funds from the BMBF's Spinnovator Programme in the total amount of EUR 4.2 million. Under the leadership of LBBW Venture Capital, the investors of amcure GmbH include KfW, MBG Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg, S-Kap Unternehmensbeteiligung, KIT and private investors. Including public subsidies, amcure has thus raised a total of EUR 13.9 million to date.