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VAR2 Pharmaceuticals has been selected for its development of a drug-conjugated malaria protein that potentially selectively binds to most human tumor types.
On July 6, 2020, MilliporeSigma announced that VAR2 Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biotechnology company based in Copenhagen, Denmark, has been selected as the European winner of its 2020 Advance Biotech Grant Program. VAR2 Pharmaceuticals was chosen for its development of a promising novel cancer treatment that has the potential to treat multiple types of human solid tumors.
As part of the grant award, VAR2 Pharmaceuticals will receive in-kind MilliporeSigma products and consultation support to advance its harvest, downstream, and formulations process development challenges in the production of a drug-conjugated malaria protein, which is in pre-clinical development. The drug conjugate uses the recombinant malaria protein, rVAR2, to target and combat cancer cells.
The rVAR2 protein has been tested on different cancer cell lines and has, in such tests, bound to the vast majority of the cells, including melanoma, lymphoma, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer cells as well as Hodgkin's lymphoma cells, MilliporeSigma reported in a company press release. With its potential ability to rapidly shrink tumors and target a broad range of cancer cell lines without knowingly disrupting healthy cells, rVAR2 shows promise to be a safe and effective therapy against a broad range of cancers that have virtually no treatment options available, according to MilliporeSigma.
“Emerging biotech companies play a significant role in the pharma value chain, typically developing therapies for rare and orphan diseases and often need support in bringing these important drugs to market,” said Udit Batra, CEO, MilliporeSigma, in the press release. “VAR2 Pharmaceuticals’ use of a malaria protein to treat cancer is promising, and we are proud to support them.”
“We are honored to have been selected as the winner of MilliporeSigma’s Advance Biotech Grant,” said Ali Salanti, founder and CEO of VAR2 Pharmaceuticals, in the press release. “The products, process development support, and expertise in developing biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes from MilliporeSigma will be instrumental in moving this project forward to GMP to enable clinical trials, and we look forward to the collaboration.”