Just as Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer HealthCare expands its cancer portfolio this week. The German company is inclined to shell out €190M for a drug that interacts with the peculiar metabolism of cancer cells. Its developer, Sprint Bioscience AB, is a Swedish company founded in 2009, from former members of AstraZeneca, Biovitrum, and Pharmacia.
Sprint Bioscience is a public company based in Stockholm, that specializes in drug discovery of cancer treatments followed by an early out-licensing. The company bets on a fast development, as its name implies, as well as novel mechanisms to fight a major concern in the cancer therapy: treatment-resistant cancer cells.
Therefore, it focuses on the tumor’s special metabolism. As a result of a tumor’s uncontrolled growth, cancer cells are very hungry. To provide an increased nutrition supply, they exhibit an altered metabolism of carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. These changes make the cells often resistant to conventional radiation- and chemotherapy. But they can also be used as specific targets for cancer treatments.
Sprint Bioscience has developed molecules inhibiting a novel metabolic target, which is vital for cancer cell survival. Its approach attracted Bayer to acquire this early-stage inhibitor program. In best case scenario, Sprint Bioscience will receive €190M milestone payments including an undisclosed upfront payment and plus potential royalties.
In late 2014, the company went public on First North at Nasdaq Stockholm. The collaboration with the German giant has not failed to leave its marks on the stock quotations of Sprint Bioscience. Since two days, its value doubled. The new cash will be invested in expanding the company’s portfolio within the area of tumor metabolism.