Aqilion strengthens its portfolio with two innovative pharmaceutical projects in the fields of inflammation and oncology

Aqilion is strengthening its portfolio with the addition of two innovative preclinical projects, Alhena and Alnitak. The company is overseeing the two pharmaceutical projects, which both fall under Aqilion’s new focus area: inflammation at the interface of oncology and immunology.

The Alhena project aims to develop a “PROTAC” drug against a target protein that is central to some cancers. PROTAC is an acronym for proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC). Basically, the technology uses the cell’s own system to break down a certain target protein in the cell, instead of just trying to block its action. The Alhena project involves combination therapy in immuno-oncology with an initial focus on aggressive, treatment-resistant “triple negative breast cancer.”

The Alnitak project has two interesting applications. The goal is to develop drug candidates that bind to a target protein that is essential for both malignant disease development and for inflammatory conditions. A successful project can therefore help to develop new medications to treat orphan drug indications in the field of autoinflammatory diseases, as well as new combination therapies within the field of oncology, primarily intestinal cancer.

Aqilion oversees both projects in collaboration with selected contract research organizations (CROs) specializing in innovative early pharmaceutical projects. The objective is to develop both projects into attractive preclinical projects and then identify a partner for the clinical and commercial development.

“We are proud to announce that Aqilion is now launching two innovative pharmaceutical projects that are both based on new knowledge from the pharmaceutical industry and academic research in the fields of oncology, inflammation and immunology. I am convinced that our new area of focus and approach will result in synergies, greater knowledge within the team and strong collaboration in the future with selected partners and customers in industry. I look forward to reporting the results moving forward,” says Sarah Fredriksson, CEO of AQILION AB.

Aqilion is in a transitional phase that has entailed a new start based on solid analysis and culminating in a forward-looking strategy. Earlier this year, the company changed its name to Aqilion in acknowledgement of this transition. The path has included recruitment of a strengthened team, as well as an inventory and validation of the projects Aqilion had in its portfolio at that time. Willingness to build a business model that delivers, combined with the courage to discontinue those projects that do not meet set criteria, will be crucial to its success.

For more information, please contact
Sarah Fredriksson, CEO, AQILION AB, +46 (0)70 261 4575, sarah.fredriksson@aqilion.com

About AQILION AB
Aqilion is a Swedish life science company that identifies unique pharmaceutical projects at an early phase in the drug discovery process and develops them in preparation for clinical trials. The goal is to demonstrate the clinical and commercial potential of the medical innovation to attract industrial partners and buyers, who in turn have the capacity to continue clinical development and take the product to market. The business model is based on involvement at an early stage and close collaboration with the innovator, regardless of whether the project is initiated by an external researcher, internal development project, or industrial partner. Aqilion prefers projects aimed at niche markets. Specialty medications and orphan drugs are of particular interest. Aqilion has its headquarters in Helsingborg. Please visit www.aqilion.com.

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Aqilion project company Adenovir Pharma liquidated

Today AQILION AB announced that the extraordinary general meeting of the project company Adenovir Pharma AB resolved to liquidate the company. According to the decision, liquidation will begin on November 1, 2019. 

Adenovir Pharma developed an antiviral medication (APD-209) to treat and potentially even to prevent the contagious eye disease epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC), which is caused by a virus. The phase 2 trial with ADP-209 did not provide conclusive results since the number of patients in the study was insufficient to achieve statistical significance. This has made continued development and the possibility of selling the project difficult.

 

It is always a disappointment when a project does not develop as desired. A successful drug discovery project requires solid science and step-by-step data-driven research and development. In the case of Adenovir Pharma, the company was founded based on solid innovative research and the project has developed according to plan until the phase 2 study. Demonstrating that a completely new innovative treatment works in patients is the goal throughout the entire development phase and no matter how a study is planned, you can only learn how effective the treatment is after completing the trial. In the case of Adenovir Pharma, the study results were not sufficient to motivate either a buyer or the existing owners to continue to advance the project to new clinical trials, which has contributed to the decision for voluntary liquidation,” says Sarah Fredriksson, chairman of the board of Adenovir Pharma AB and CEO of AQILION AB.

 

Adenovir Pharma AB was founded in 2008 by AQILION AB (at that time under the company name Partners för Utvecklingsinvesteringar inom Life Sciences, P.U.L.S. AB) together with its partners and the innovators behind the project idea. Aqilion continued to be the largest owner of Adenovir Pharma since its inception.

 

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Fredriksson, chairman of the board of Adenovir Pharma AB and CEO of AQILION AB,
+46(0)70 261 4575,
sarah.fredriksson@aqilion.com

 

About AQILION AB

Aqilion is a Swedish life science company that identifies unique pharmaceutical projects at an early phase in the drug discovery process and develops them in preparation for clinical trials. The goal is to demonstrate the clinical and commercial potential of the medical innovation to attract industrial partners and buyers, who in turn have the capacity to continue clinical development and take the product to market. The business model is based on involvement at an early stage and close collaboration with the innovator, regardless of whether the project is initiated by an external researcher, internal development project, or industrial partner. Aqilion prefers

projects aimed at niche markets. Specialty medications and orphan drugs are of particular interest.

Aqilion has its headquarters in Helsingborg. Please visit www.aqilion.com

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Aqilion hires Martin Johansson as medicinal chemistry expert

Martin Johansson holds a doctorate in organic chemistry from Lund University, Sweden, where he is currently an Associate Professor at the Center for Analysis and Synthesis. He has almost 20 years’ experience of medicinal chemistry and commercial drug discovery. Martin has previously held positions as senior researcher in AstraZeneca’s organization for Discovery R&D, in Södertälje, Sweden; Chief Scientific Officer at Respiratorius AB, which develops drugs for the treatment of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada. In recent years, Martin has worked for several drug development companies on a consulting basis, including as project manager at Glactone Pharma AB, one of Aqilion’s project companies. Martin will begin working as Senior Director Medical Chemistry at Aqilion in August.

“Martin Johansson’s extensive expertise in medicinal chemistry will be an important and strong addition to Aqilion’s ability to analyze new project ideas. His broad experience from drug discovery projects targeting a variety of disease areas and indications will also be a great asset to and a driving force for our pipeline. We are extremely pleased that Martin has chosen to join the Aqilion team and I look forward to an exciting collaboration moving forward,” says Sarah Fredriksson, CEO of AQILION AB.

About AQILION AB
Aqilion is a Swedish life science company that identifies unique pharmaceutical projects at an early phase in the drug discovery process and develops them in preparation for clinical trials. The goal is to demonstrate the clinical and commercial potential of the medical innovation to attract industrial partners and buyers, who in turn have the capacity to continue clinical development and take the product to market. The business model is based on involvement at an early stage and close collaboration with the innovator, regardless of whether the project is initiated by an external researcher, internal development project, or industrial partner. Aqilion prefers projects aimed at niche markets. Specialty medications (high-cost, high complexity and/or high touch drugs) and orphan drugs (drugs to treat diseases so rare that they would be unprofitable to produce without government assistance) are particularly interesting. Aqilion has its headquarters in Helsingborg, Sweden. Please visit www.aqilion.com

Download press release in PDF-format »