Today, Scandion Oncology announced that the company has identified novel analogues with more than tenfold higher potency against antibiotic resistant bacteria than the original compound, and that the in vivo animal study has been delayed from Q4 2019 until Q1 2020 due to technical issues with the control substance. BioStock reached out to the company for a comment.

Earlier this year, Scandion Oncology announced positive preclinical results in antibiotic resistance. The company had, together with the University of Copenhagen, discovered that a number of the company’s compounds are able to overcome antibiotic resistance during bacterial infections through a different mechanism of action than the one related to reversing cancer resistance.

»This delay will not affect Scandion Oncology in any serious way. On the contrary, Scandion Oncology now has the possibility to include these much more effective analogs in the animal experiments« — Nils Brünner, CEO Scandion Oncology

Tenfold increased efficacy

Today, the company stated that it has identified new analogs with tenfold increased efficacy against antibiotic resistant bacteria, and, furthermore, that due to technical issues with the control substance at the CRO laboratory, Scandion Oncology will restart the study with the drug candidate SOM-001 in January 2020, and the results will therefore not be available until late Q1, 2020. This will not affect the company’s goal of finding a partner for commercializing SOM-001 and analogues in 2020.

BioStock reached out to CEO Nils Brünner at Scandion Oncology for a comment.

Nils Brünner, CEO Scandion Oncology

Nils Brünner, today Scandion Oncology announced that the identified novel analogues have more than tenfold higher potency against antibiotic resistant bacteria, compared to the original compound. A tenfold higher potency sounds like quite a remarkable finding. Can you tell us more about the specifics of these findings?

– Yes, this was a very nice finding. We do have a lot of analogs of SOM-001 and we have tested these for effects against antibiotic resistance. We were able to find a specific structure among the analogs that had the antimicrobial effects. We will include these effective analogs in the animal experiment that will be performed in Q1, 2020.

Your main focus, however, is still on drug resistance in oncology and the antibiotic resistance path is an interesting complement to your overall portfolio, which also only requires small-scale resources. Today we learned that the in vivo animal study within the antibiotic resistance project has been delayed from Q4 2019 until Q1 2020 due to technical issues with the control substance. Can you tell us more about this delay and in which way it will affect the company?

– This was unfortunate but is NOT related to the active compounds but to the control compound. The experiment with the right control substance will be repeated in Q1, 2020. We do not foresee any further delay. Thus, this delay will not affect Scandion Oncology in any serious way. On the contrary, Scandion oncology now has the possibility to include these much more effective analogs in the animal experiments.

»The clinical phase II study will start as soon as we have the final acceptance from the Ethical Committee. We expect to receive this acceptance within the next couple of days. Then there will be frequent news from Scandion Oncology where we report on the clinical trial«

In today’s press release, you also stressed that the delay will not affect the company’s goal of finding a partner for commercializing the drug candidate SOM-001 and analogs for antibiotic resistance in 2020, and that it will not affect the company’s cash position. Any comments on this?

– Yes, this delay will by no means affect Scandion Oncology’s cash position.

Given the fact that you stated in today’s press release that the main goal for the company is to find a partner and not try to out-license your product, what does that say about your view on the candidate’s potential?

– That is a good question. I believe that with the data that we have already obtained plus the animal data, we will be in a very good position to find a partner. However, a most likely scenario will be a spin-out from Scandion oncology and then have this new company to develop the SOM drugs commercially – and most probably with a partner. This also means that Scandion oncology can keep its focus on the oncology development.

Finally, Nils, what potential news can we expect from the company in 2020?

– As we have reported, the clinical phase II study will start as soon as we have the final acceptance from the Ethical Committee. We expect to receive this acceptance within the next couple of days. Then there will be frequent news from Scandion Oncology where we report on the clinical trial. Regarding the Microbiology part, we will report as soon as the in vivo studies are done.

The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.

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