Sprint Bioscience develops innovative drugs focused on cancer and metabolism. We work with a broad project portfolio and develop short-term parallel projects in the pre-clinical phase, until we have identified a drug candidate ready for clinical studies.
Cancer cells’ metabolism differs significantly from the original tissue from which they originate. Cancer cells proliferate more rapidly than normal healthy cells and adapt their metabolism to drive a faster formation of various cellular components such as nucleotides, amino acids, and lipids.
Cancer cells also create an environment in the tumor that favors their own survival at the expense of the body’s healthy cells. The tumor environment becomes acidic, with a lower concentration of oxygen and nutrients, which makes it more difficult for the body’s own cells to survive. This also makes it harder for the body’s immune cells to do their job, and the body’s natural protection against cancer is weakened.
Altered metabolism is crucial for the ability of cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body, and this provides an opportunity to develop cancer therapies that not only reduce the growth of existing tumors but also reduce the risk of the appearance of daughter tumors, e.g. metastasis.
By attacking the metabolic processes in the tumor we can fight cancer on several fronts: partly reducing the growth of cancer cells, recreating a better balance in the tumor’s micro environment, reducing the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body and last but not least, strengthening the body’s own immune system.
Tumor metabolism is a therapeutic area that has attracted significant interest lately and a large number of global pharmaceutical companies are interested in the area. At Sprint Bioscience, we work long-term in expanding and strengthening our expertise in this area to become the obvious partner for companies that aim to be leaders in the field.
Diabetes and NASH
Diabetes is caused by a metabolic shift of the cells whereby insulin sensitivity has deteriorated. This leads to elevated blood sugar despite high insulin levels. The high blood sugar is partly caused by decreased sugar uptake in muscle cells and partly by increased excretion of sugar from the liver. Today’s therapies have limited efficacy, so there is still a great need for new drugs for type 2 diabetes.
One of the sequelae that can affect patients with type 2 diabetes is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH, or liver stomach/fat liver as it is also called, is hepatic inflammation and liver damage caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver. NASH belongs to a group of states called “non-alcohol related”. For some people the fat causes inflammation and damages cells in the liver and, because of the damage, liver function is diminished. NASH can worsen and cause scarring in the liver, leading to liver cirrhosis. It is one of the main reasons for the need for liver transplantation. NASH is similar to the type of liver disease caused by prolonged and heavy consumption of alcohol, but NASH occurs in people who do not abuse alcohol.