Laevoroc Chemotherapy will develop a new oral gemcitabine prodrug, LR 06B, aiming to make a positive impact on health equity and quality of care for cancer patients around the world
Zug, Switzerland, 18 March 2022: Laevoroc Oncology (‘Laevoroc’ or ‘the Company’), a privately-owned, Swiss oncology development company, announced today the successful closure of a joint venture agreement with Lipomed AG, Arlesheim, Switzerland, a Swiss life sciences company engaged in the R&D, manufacturing and commercialization of pharmaceuticals (“Lipomed”). The agreement succeeds a collaboration agreement between the two companies and marks the evolution of Laevoroc’s former wholly-owned subsidiary, Laevoroc Chemotherapy, into a joint venture with an equal equity split between Laevoroc and Lipomed.
Laevoroc Chemotherapy was founded by Laevoroc in 2021 with the purpose to bring the first oral gemcitabine prodrug to patients living with cancer. Named by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the 591 Essential Medicines required to meet the most important needs in a healthcare system, gemcitabine is a billion-dollar chemotherapeutic with potent anti-tumor activity and a favourable safety profile used to treat some of the most common cancers (including breast, lung and pancreatic cancers). However, gemcitabine is currently only administered intravenously, which creates barriers to treatment and access to cancer care, particularly for patients with socio-economic, geographical or health-related limitations to accessing healthcare resources.
Over the last several months, Laevoroc has been collaborating with Lipomed on developing a novel prodrug of gemcitabine, LR 06B. The creation of this rationally designed new molecule is at the core of the decision to evolve Laevoroc Chemotherapy into a joint venture, extending the scope of the collaboration and enabling the venture to leverage the complementary expertise and resources of its shareholders to achieve IND readiness (or equivalent) for LR 06B.
Laevoroc’s founder and CEO, Thomas Mehrling, MD, PhD, said, ‘We are delighted to have agreed this joint venture with Lipomed, which has been our partner in creating our LR 06B compound. The joint venture will allow us to take the development of LR 06B farther to IND and seek external investment for its next important value inflection point, which is our planned Phase I/II clinical study. An oral gemcitabine prodrug has the potential to make an enormous impact in terms of improving patients’ quality of life and access to cancer care in the Western world and developing countries — and this is the ultimate goal of Laevoroc Chemotherapy.’
Lipomed’s CEO, Athanasios Zikopoulos, MSc ETH, DBA, said ‘We are excited to enter into this joint venture agreement with Laevoroc Oncology as we believe that our expertise and resources complement each other perfectly. Improving patients’ quality of life through highly effective and affordable therapies is a common goal of our two companies. We believe that our new compound, LR 06B, will pave the way for the world’s first oral gemcitabine chemotherapy, making a significant contribution to improving existing cancer therapies and facilitating new treatment options.’
About Laevoroc Oncology
Founded in 2019, Laevoroc is a privately-owned Swiss oncology development group of companies based in the Canton of Zug. The Company’s founders, Thomas Mehrling, MD PhD, and Davide Guggi, PhD, have over 40 years’ combined experience in oncology drug development and a track record successfully commercializing new cancer drugs.
Laevoroc’s mission is to leverage state-of-the-art technology, its team’s oncology expertise and extensive R&D experience, to develop and grow a diversified portfolio of next-generation, game-changing cancer immunotherapies. As an extension of this commitment, the Company has entered into a joint venture with the purpose to deliver urgent and impactful chemotherapeutics that significantly improve health equity and quality of care for cancer patients around the world. The company has raised over USD 1.1M in seed finance and is actively raising Series A financing to progress its assets through clinical trials.
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