i&i Prague co-invested Dracen Pharmaceuticals, a company developing a novel oncology treatment

i&i Prague has co-invested in a new oncology project. The development of novel glutamine antagonist prodrugs is supported with a total investment of $40.5 million.

The international team of scientists from Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Science (IOCB Prague) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has prepared and tested a new substance for cancer treatment. The aim is to stop the cancer growth by cutting out the glutamine supply necessary for the viability of cancer cells. The novel glutamine antagonist prodrug was prepared at the IOCB Prague. Further clinical development will be led by a biotech company Dracen Pharmaceuticals, formed recently with the support of both IOCB Prague and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The phase I clinical studies of the new substances should begin in the first half of 2019. The potential of the new therapy is highlighted by the fact that the company has closed a $40.5 million financing round led by Deerfield Management.

The full Press Release can be found here.

Logos of involved companies in the rising oncology project