3P Biopharmaceuticals and Buzzard Pharmaceuticals have entered into a partnership agreement for manufacturing of the potent IL-1 inhibitor Isunakinra, a recombinant protein for cancer indications.

3P Biopharmaceuticals, a leading Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation CDMO specialized in the process development and GMP manufacturing of biologics and Buzzard Pharmaceuticals, a Swedish pharmaceutical company developing and re-positioning drugs in oncology.

Buzzard and 3P began their collaboration at the end of last year, when 3P was selected as the cGMP manufacturing partner for Buzzard’s oncology drug Isunakinra. This molecule was previously developed for eye indications but based on a strong scientific rationale for IL-1 inhibition in cancer treatment Buzzard is re-positioning the drug for cancer indications. A phase I/II clinical trial in solid tumour patients was initiated at the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas (Texas) in 2020.

Cytokines are small proteins that are crucial in controlling the growth and activity of immune cells and blood cells. There are different kinds of cytokines, and interleukin-1 (IL-1) is one of the most important. Chronic inflammation mediated by IL-1 signalling leads to tumour immune-suppression, triggers suppression of adaptive immunity, tumour promotion and metastasis. Isunakinra is a recombinant protein that potently inhibits signalling of both IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta through the IL-1 receptor. Based on these functions for IL-1 in the tumour micro-environment, Isunakinra is being studied in cancer indications.

Dámaso Molero, CEO at 3P Biopharmaceuticals added: “We are pleased to be a part of this project aimed at combatting the cancer, this multifactorial global disease. We are going to collaborate to provide more opportunities to cancer suffering patients.”

Maarten de Château, CEO at Buzzard Pharmaceuticals added: “We are very pleased to work with 3P Bio on our exciting recombinant protein project, including production of GMP material for our planned expansion study in solid tumour patients. We find that 3P Bio has a very professional approach and flexible way of working with our project.”

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