Some of the top stories emanating from Poland’s pharma industry, including Polish biotech Ryvu Therapeutics’ exclusive deal with Exelixis, the partnership between Polpharma and startup Pikralida on a promising epilepsy candidate and Adamed’s expansion of its laboratory facilities.
American oncology-focused biotech Exelixis and Polish company, Ryvu Therapeutics, centred on novel small molecule therapies that address emerging targets in oncology announced an exclusive USD 3 million license agreement for the development of novel targeted therapies utilizing Ryvu’s STING (STimulator of INterferon Genes) technology. The agreement will expand Exelixis’ portfolio by combining Ryvu’s proprietary small molecule STING agonists with Exelixis’ expertise and resources in antibody engineering and antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technologies.
“Gaining access to novel targets and technologies is an essential component of our strategy to expand our biotherapeutics pipeline, and this relationship allows Exelixis to capitalize on Ryvu’s STING-related assets and expertise,” said Peter Lamb, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Scientific Strategy and Chief Scientific Officer, Exelixis. “
“Ryvu has leveraged its in-depth structural protein knowledge to rationally design small molecules that are structurally distinct from known STING agonists and outperform most other potentially competitive compounds in in vitro immune cell assays,” said Krzysztof Brzózka, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Ryvu.
Chronic Kidney Disease project winner of AstraZeneca-funded Warsaw Health Innovation Hub prize (Warsaw Health Innovation Hub)
The Polish startup Doctor.One, was awarded the AstraZeneca-funded Warsaw Health Innovation Hub #Nephrohero grant for its project to develop a pilot solution for early diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease in a country where 4 million people suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), the second most common chronic disease in the country.
Doctor.One will receive PLN 400,000 from AstraZeneca, who founded the competition, as well as consulting support from the public institutions and EIT Health InnoStars. The project plans to engage family doctors and nephrology specialists to design a personalized care model for people at risk or early-stage CKD and test it on a group of 100 patients.
“We hope that the winning project, thanks to our support, will find widespread use in medical care, thus increasing access to proper and early diagnostics for millions of Poles. We expect the first effects and recommendations in the fall of 2023, although in the meantime we will actively support the winning team. We are glad that, as AstraZeneca, we were able to launch the first competition of this type as part of the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub and perhaps pave the way for other similar projects. WHIH is an excellent example of how, thanks to public-private cooperation, we can act to improve the Polish health care system,” said Wiktor Janicki, president of AstraZeneca Poland, the initiator and sponsor of the competition.
Polpharma partners with Pikralida on Epilepsy candidate (Polpharma website)
Polpharma has signed an agreement with Pikralida, a Polish startup that is developing an epilepsy therapy, to manufacture the drug substance of the clinical candidate PKL-021, needed to support the preclinical research program and the production of an investigational medicinal product for the phase one clinical trial. Pikralida is developing a therapy that protects against the development of epilepsy after a brain injury or stroke in cooperation with the M. Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. The project is based research on the role of MMP-9 enzyme in the epileptogenesis process
“We are working intensively on the preparation of our clinical candidate PKL-021 for the Phase I clinical trial. One of the extremely important elements of the project, at the same time limiting its progress, is the availability of the drug substance. The Pikralida Process Chemistry team has developed an efficient synthesis process for PKL-021. We have decided to entrust the manufacturing of the drug substance according to the cGMP standard to Polpharma S.A. …,” said Dr. Stanisław Pikul, President at Pikralida.
“ … we are supporting our customers and partners, innovative companies, at every stage of the development of drug candidates, from API supplies for preclinical studies to validation, commercial launch, and full life cycle management. We are glad that we will cooperate with a group of specialists from Pikralida who have developed a technology that we will be able to transfer to Polpharma in order to produce the active substance for the project,” said Sebastian Szymanek, President of the Management Board of Zakłady Farmaceutyczne Polpharma S.A.
Adamed to expand its laboratory facilities (Adamed website)
To allow for the implementation of new drug development projects, Adamed has purchased laboratory facilities in Kajetany near Warsaw. According to the company, the acquisition of these facilities is part of Adamed Pharma’s plans to expand its R&D capabilities in the field of biotechnology. The new laboratory will launch R&D in the field of applications of mRNA technology, including vaccine development. Specifically, the new facilities will support the production of small batches of biological drug candidates for clinical trials in accordance with the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards.
“We have been implementing investments and pursuing innovative in-house R&D projects for over 20 years. We have already allocated PLN 1.9 billion for this purpose. Our new venture in Kajetany fits in with Adamed’s long-term development program under which we plan to allot a total of PLN 1 billion on our projects by the end of 2025. According to Adamed Pharma’s strategy, every year we will allocate an average of 7 percent of generated revenues to drug development projects. Some of them will be implemented in Kajetany, said Paweł Roszczyk, Managing Director, Member of the Management Board at Adamed Pharma.
The site in Kajetany, fully operational in 2023, will also accommodate Adamed’s Innovation Department and to match the expansion of its research capabilities, the company also intends to double the size of its R&D team.
13 healthcare centers in the Polish Voivodeship of Pomorskie region will implement a new regional e-health platform as part of the biggest contract ever landed by the German digital health solutions providor, CompuGroup’s Polish subsidiary. The platform will intensify the exchange of medical documents to improve accessibility to medical services at a regional level and although fully integrated with the national e-health system P1, it will allow for the processing of a wider range of data within the patient’s electronic health record.
Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes or COPD, among others, will benefit from improved data exchange with laboratories through one joint e-registration, while decision-making processes related to emergency treatment can be enhanced through the availability of essential emergency data