A new targeted radiopharmaceutical for treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer

Time period: 2019-07-01 to 2021-12-31

Project leader: Marika Nestor

Funder: Vinnova

Type of award: Project grant

Total fundning: 2 996 040 SEK

Purpose and goal: There is no cure for Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer (ATC) today. Whereas other forms of thyroid cancer can be successfully treated with radioactive iodine, ATC cells lack the ion pumps required to spontaneously accumulate radioiodine, which unfortunately renders this workhorse­ treatment useless for ATC. We have developed a targeting molecule that binds to ATC. By attaching radioiodine to our molecule, the radioactivity can be forced specifically onto the ATC cells, reinstating the therapeutic efficacy of radioiodine. Expected results and effects: The lack of a curative treatment option for ATC patients is an indisputable problem, and the unmet clinical need is enormous. As a solution, we propose to utilize radio­immunotherapy, using our novel radiopharmaceutical. Recent advances in the fields of precision radiopharmaceuticals demonstrate that the timing is now perfect for our product. In this application, we apply for funding to further develop our business plan and optimize and validate our method in cooperation with treating physicians and the clinic. Approach and implementation: We have demonstrated efficient and target­ specific therapeutic effects in preclinical ASC tumor models with this method, and are now ready to pursue this towards the clinic. In this application, we apply for funding a project in cooperation between Uppsala University and Karolinska University Hospital for the following parts: 1) Business intelligence and clinical development strategy 2) Characterization of preclinical tumor models and target expression in clinical material 3) Preclinical characterization of candidate drug 4) Preparation for larger scale production and product prototype