Press releases

Wednesday February 9th, 2022
Qurient Announces U.S. FDA Clearance of IND Application for Q901, a Novel Cancer Therapy
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Qurient Announces U.S. FDA Clearance of IND Application for Q901, a Novel Cancer Therapy

Phase 1/2 clinical study in patients with advanced solid tumor expected to start in Q2/2022

Dortmund, Germany, and Seongnam-Si, Korea, February 9th, 2022 – Qurient Co. Ltd. (KRX: 115180), a clinical stage biotech company, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its investigational new drug (IND) application for Q901, a small molecule oncology drug candidate targeting cyclin dependent kinase 7 (CDK7).

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The company plans to enroll up to 70 patients with advanced solid tumors in a Phase 1/2 clinical study taking place in the United States. The goal of the study will be to determine the maximum tolerated dose, dose-limiting toxicities, and the recommended Phase 2 dose of Q901.

“IND clearance for Q901 is an important step forward in developing this novel drug candidate that may provide a new alternative treatment to patients with relapsed or refractory malignancies,” says Kiyean Nam, CEO of Qurient. “We look forward to initiating the clinical study for Q901 and presenting additional nonclinical efficacy data of Q901 in various cancer models at an upcoming scientific meeting.”
 
Q901 is a highly selective CDK7 inhibitor that has been shown in in vitro studies to only inhibit CDK7 in the human kinome. CDK7 is a master regulator of cell cycle checkpoints and an essential component of the transcription machinery. Additional data from preclinical studies has demonstrated that selective inhibition of CDK7 specifically kills cancer cells with aberrant cell division cycle or transcriptional regulation. Nonclinical pharmacology studies of Q901 have demonstrated that the selective inhibition of CDK7 exerts tumor growth inhibition in a number of murine cell-derived and patient-derived xenograft models, including breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, small-cell lung, and colorectal cancers.
 
Qurient licensed the CDK7 inhibitor program at lead stage from Lead Discovery Center (LDC) and the Max Planck Society and further optimized the program, completed the IND-enabling studies, and submitted the IND application.
 
“We are thrilled about the second CDK-selective inhibitor from the LDC pipeline to reach cancer patients. The nomination of Q901 for clinical development emphasizes the translational competence of LDC and represents an extremely important milestone,” adds Bert Klebl, CEO and CSO of the LDC. “Starting out with an early-stage and BMBF grant funded academic collaboration with two academic partners, and strongly supported by additional financing from the Max Planck Foundation, LDC has launched this journey to identify and generate mono-specific CDK7 inhibitors. After an initial animal proof-of-concept, the CDK7 assets were licensed to our strategic collaboration partner, Qurient. We respectfully appreciate our ongoing partnership with Qurient, who are now moving the second joint program, after Q702, forward to clinical trials. While licensing these projects and jointly starting the spin-off, QLi5, we have since built a sustainable and strong partnership with Qurient, with more to come, focusing on the translation of innovative biology and drug discovery programs from LDC’s academic network.”
 
“Qurient has proven to be the ideal partner for this project, and we are more than happy about the results of this strategic partnership,” says Jörn Erselius, Managing Director at Max Planck Innovation GmbH.
 
The CDK7 inhibitor project and other projects have been supported in part by private sponsors and charities, especially Max Planck Foundation, which supports many Max Planck research projects and researchers, including the most recent Nobel Laureates at Max Planck. 
 

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>> Contact
PR Lead Discovery Center
+49 (0)231-97 42 70 00
pr@lead-discovery.de

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About LDC
Lead Discovery Center GmbH was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The Lead Discovery Center takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from academia and industry, the Lead Discovery Center is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. The Lead Discovery Center sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society, KHAN-I GmbH & Co.KG and has formed alliances with Qurient, AstraZeneca, Apeiron, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Centessa, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Jemincare, Novo Nordisk e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation. Further information at: www.lead-discovery.de.

About Qurient

Qurient is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company listed in Korea Exchange (KRX 115180). Qurient mainly focuses on development of novel therapeutics from discovery to human proof of concept stages through virtual R&D project management platform. Qurient currently has three programs in clinical development: Q301, a topical leukotriene inhibitor for atopic dermatitis, completed Phase 2b study; Telacebec (Q203), a first-in-class orally available cytochrome bc1 inhibitor for tuberculosis, completed Phase 2 study; and Q702, under Phase 1/2 study. A subsidiary of Qurient, QLi5 is developing immunoproteasome inhibitors targeting multiple Myeloma and diverse other indications. For more info, please visit www.qurient.com.
 
About Max Planck Innovation
Max Planck Innovation (MI) is responsible for the technology transfer of the Max Planck Society and, as such, the link between industry and basic research. With an interdisciplinary, team MI advises and supports scientists at Max Planck Institutes in evaluating their inventions, filing patents and founding companies. MI offers industry unique access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes. Thus, MI performs an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products that contribute to economic and social progress. Further information at: www.max-planck-innovation.com.

Monday March 22nd, 2021
LDC, Novo Nordisk, and Heidelberg University Hospital to Collaborate on New Treatment for Heart Failure
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LDC, Novo Nordisk, and Heidelberg University Hospital to Collaborate on New Treatment for Heart Failure

Dortmund, Germany– March 22nd, 2021 –The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) announces today that they have entered into a collaboration with Heidelberg University Hospital and Novo Nordisk to develop a new therapy against heart failure.

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Cardiac Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent Kinase II (CaMKII) plays a central role in maladaptive processes in the diseased heart. The partners aim to develop a new class of CaMKII modulators by using an innovative strategy, expected to block the aberrant effects of CaMKII while preserving physiological CaMKII functions.

The approach was discovered and validated by Prof. Johannes Backs and his team at the Heidelberg University Hospital, and further advanced together with the LDC. During this phase, Prof. Backs´ research was supported by the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) with a programme that promotes the translation of approaches from basic research into clinical application. In their year of collaboration, the partners succeeded in generating a range of promising hit compounds.

“It is a great pleasure for us to continue working with the excellent team around Prof. Backs and to welcome Novo Nordisk on board for the second phase of our collaboration, focusing on hit-to-lead development. We very much appreciate their early involvement and look forward to their input which will be extremely valuable in guiding project progress”, says Bert Klebl, CEO & CSO of the LDC. “Heart failure is one of the most prevalent and deadly diagnoses upon hospital admission, and despite therapeutic progress we still see high rates of mortality and morbidity”, adds Prof. Johannes Backs. “Our approach has the potential to offer a new, effective and safe treatment, and we are thrilled to be working with the LDC and Novo Nordisk to advance it towards application”.

“We are very excited to enter this collaboration leveraging on decades of research supporting CaMKII as a target in heart failure. This is a unique opportunity to enter a partnership with deep biological understanding and excellent technical skills aiming at discovering novel treatments for patients living with heart failure. This in addition, supports the ambition of Novo Nordisk to deliver disease modifying treatments for patients suffering from this condition”, says Karin Conde-Knape,
SVP of Global Drug Discovery at Novo Nordisk.

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>> Contact
PR Lead Discovery Center
+49 (0)231-97 42 70 00
pr@lead-discovery.de
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About LDC
Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach robust proof-of-concept in animals. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from academia and industry, the LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of drug candidate compounds with exceptional medical and commercial potential. The LDC has formed alliances with e.g. AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, and sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society and KHAN-I GmbH & Co.KG. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.
For more information, please visit: www.lead-discovery.de

Monday March 22nd, 2021
LDC and Cumulus Oncology Announce Collaboration
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LDC and Cumulus Oncology Announce Collaboration

Dortmund, Germany, and Edinburgh, Scotland, March 22nd, 2021. The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and Cumulus Oncology announce the signing of a collaboration agreement enabling the two organisations to accelerate the discovery and development of novel oncology therapies.

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The collaboration builds on the complementary expertise of both organisations. LDC contributes a proven track record in drug discovery and a team of scientists with the expertise and the deep insights necessary to develop assets modulating a range of oncology targets derived from its large academic network. Cumulus Oncology brings a team of successful life science entrepreneurs with a recognised track record in translational oncology drug development, as well as oncologists, scientists and pharma sector business professionals.

This collaboration is based around the reciprocal contribution of each group and the motivation to develop a growing portfolio of small molecule and biological assets with exceptional medical and commercial potential. Each party provides targets and assets in the oncology area for collaboration and potential future company co-creation as well as bringing a wider access to funding partners and collaborators globally.

“We anticipate that joining forces with Cumulus Oncology will leverage early-stage novel oncology approaches from our research networks, turning these early-stage assets into true innovations in cancer research and therapies”, stated Bert Klebl, CEO and CSO of the LDC. “This strategic partnership with one of the leading drug discovery centres in Europe provides a unique opportunity for Cumulus Oncology to fuel its pipeline of next generation novel oncology assets” said Alan Wise, Chairman of Cumulus Oncology.
“We are very much looking forward to working with our colleagues at LDC to the mutual benefit of both our organisations and ultimately to the benefit of the cancer research community, most especially, the patients dealing with a cancer diagnosis” added Clare Wareing, Founder and CEO of Cumulus Oncology.

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> Contact
PR Lead Discovery Center
+49 (0)231-97 42 70 00
pr@lead-discovery.de
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About Cumulus Oncology
Founded in 2017, Cumulus sources novel oncology assets from academic institutes, commercial drug discovery groups and biopharmaceutical companies. The company also identifies novel targets for drug discovery programmes which it supports and collaborates on. Following rigorous due diligence and market assessment activities, negotiations on deal terms and in-depth feasibility on the investment case, selected assets are spun out into newly created companies. These NewCos are managed to key value inflection points by Cumulus which also takes responsibility for further investment into each Newco via its network of VC partners. The founding team consists of successful life science entrepreneurs, oncologists, scientists and other oncology drug development and pharma sector business professionals. Asset classes of interest include small molecules and biologics which target known and novel pathways in cancer, where there is a clear path forward into clinical development, often in molecularly selected sub-groups.
For more information, please visit: www.cumulusoncology.com

About LDC
Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close> collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, the LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. The LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society, KHAN-I GmbH & Co.KG and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Apeiron, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.
For more information, please visit: www.lead-discovery.de

Wednesday January 27th, 2021
First Patient Dosed in Phase 1 Study with Novel Anti-cancer Immunotherapy Q702
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First Patient Dosed in Phase 1 Study with Novel Anti-cancer Immunotherapy Q702

Dortmund, Germany, Jan 27th, 2021 – The LDC’s long-term strategic
partner Qurient has dosed the first patient in a Phase 1 clinical study of
Q702 involving patients with advanced solid tumors at multiple sites in
the US.

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Q702 is an orally available triple kinase inhibitor targeting Axl, Mer and CSF1R. It was discovered at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and further developed at the LDC, before it was licensed to Qurient for further optimization and preclinical and clinical development. The candidate was shown to boost immune cells in the tumor microenvironment and to raise tumor visibility to the immune system. It may provide new options to patients for whom available therapies are ineffective.

For the original press releases, see:

Qurient’s latest press release from January 26th, 2021
Qurient’s and LDC’s press release on IND approval from May 2020

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>> Contact
PR Lead Discovery Center
+49 (0)231-97 42 70 00
pr@lead-discovery.de
# # #

About Qurient
Qurient is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company listed in Korea Exchange (KRX 115180). Qurient mainly focuses on development of novel therapeutics from discovery to human proof of concept stages through virtual R&D project management platform. Qurient currently has three programs in clinical development: Q301, a topical leukotriene inhibitor for atopic dermatitis, completed Phase 2b study; telacebec (Q203), a first-in-class orally available cytochrome bc1 inhibitor for tuberculosis, completed Phase 2 study; and Q702, entering Phase 1/2 study. Qurient recently nominated Q901, a selective CDK7 inhibitor, as a preclinical candidate for solid tumors, which is expected to enter the clinic in 2021. For more info, please visit www.qurient.com.

About LDC
Lead Discovery Center GmbH was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The Lead Discovery Center takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from academia and industry, the Lead Discovery Center is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. The Lead Discovery Center sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society, KHAN-I GmbH & Co.KG and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, e.g. In addition,LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation. Further information at: www.lead-discovery.de.

About Max Planck Innovation
Max Planck Innovation (MI) is responsible for the technology transfer of the Max Planck Society and, as such, the link between industry and basic research. With an interdisciplinary team, MI advises and supports scientists at Max Planck Institutes in evaluating their inventions, filing patents and founding companies. MI offers industry unique access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes. Thus, MI performs an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products that contribute to economic and social progress. Further information at: www.max-planck-innovation.com.