In strong competition and after external examination, Glactone Pharma has been awarded a SEK 886,500 grant (approx. USD 106,000) from Vinnova (Sweden’s Innovation Agency) in the second phase of a program aimed at innovative startup companies. The funded project will be used to characterize Glactone Pharma’s lead STAT3 inhibitor, a potential new drug for the treatment of cancers. A STAT3 inhibitor has great potential to address large unmet medical needs and help patients.


Glactone Pharma’s objective for this project is to generate data on dosing and efficacy in relevant models and to obtain a correlation between pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the company’s lead compound. Having this data is important for predicting safe and efficacious doses both for non-clinical and clinical studies, thereby increasing the chances of success. STAT3 is a highly promising target in cancer with both preclinical and clinical data supporting the important roles that STAT3 plays in cancer occurrence and progression. Furthermore, STAT3 is involved in mechanisms that enable tumors and cancer cells to evade the immune system. The company’s lead compound has demonstrated the ability to modulate the immune system through STAT3 blockade in a disease model, and thereby acting as a cancer immunotherapy agent.

Immunotherapy is a treatment modality that activates and utilizes the body’s own immune system to recognize and attack tumors and is today the fastest growing and most promising area of cancer research.

Martin Johansson, CEO of Glactone Pharma, says: “The continued development of Glactone Pharma’s STAT3 inhibitor is greatly helped by this funding awarded by Vinnova and we can continue with our focus of bringing a novel drug to the clinic that potentially can help many patients. In addition, the grant is a recognition of the quality of the research that we are conducting at Glactone Pharma.”

About STAT3
STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) is a transcription factor/signaling protein that is frequently activated in many forms of cancer.

STAT3 plays crucial roles in both tumor cells and in the tumor microenvironment and is a highly promising target for cancer therapy. Direct STAT3 inhibitors have the potential to prevent metastasis, reverse drug resistance and induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Furthermore, STAT3 inhibitors can be combined with immunotherapies to increase response rates and efficacy and with targeted drugs and chemotherapy to reverse and overcome resistance and provide efficacious and safe cancer treatments.

STAT3 is an intractable drug target as it is an intracellular protein with no enzymatic activity and is activated by multiple upstream factors. Despite it not being a “classic drug target”, Glactone Pharma has developed orally bioavailable small molecule inhibitors that can directly inhibit the function of STAT3.

About Glactone Pharma
Glactone Pharma is a biotech company within P.U.L.S. AB, a Swedish life science company with a unique combination of scientists and industrialists who together with innovators are commercializing ideas by providing capital, know-how and committed partnership.

Glactone Pharma is based on ground-breaking science from the University of Lund in Sweden. The company has developed a pipeline of novel potential drugs that target the STAT3 transcription factor for the use in immuno-oncology and for the treatment of advanced treatment resistant cancers.STAT3 is directly involved in tumor mediated immune suppression and in treatment making it an ideal target in combination treatments.
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About Vinnova
Vinnova is Sweden’s government agency for innovation. Vinnova’s vision is for Sweden to become a leading global player in research and innovation, and a country that is attractive for investment and entrepreneurship. Learn more about Vinnova.

For more information, please contact
Jan Törnell, Chairman of the Board, Glactone Pharma AB, +46 (0)70 676 00 08 or

Martin Johansson, CEO, Glactone Pharma AB, +46 (0)76 006 60 29 or

P.U.L.S. AB (Partners för Utvecklingsinvesteringar inom Life Sciences) är ett svenskt life science-bolag med en unik kombination av forskare och industrialister som tillsammans med innovatörer kommersialiserar idéer genom kapital, know-how och ett engagerat partnerskap. PULS investerar i tidiga projekt och utvecklar dem i nära samarbete med innovatörerna hela vägen från idé till attraktiva projekt för industrin. Sedan 2003 har PULS startat elva projektbolag, fem projekt har avyttrats varav två är börsintroducerade (AcuCort och LIDDS). PULS har sitt huvudkontor i Helsingborg. PULS pågående projekt är: Adenovir Pharma, Belina, Glactone Pharma, Oncorena och Trophea.