28 November 2017, Maastricht, The Netherlands – Cristal Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted nanomedicines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases with high unmet patient need, today announced that it secured a €2.5 million grant from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.
The funds will be used to perform the upcoming Phase 2 trials of Cristal Therapeutics’ lead nanomedicine candidate CriPec®-docetaxel to evaluate efficacy and safety in specific solid tumour indications, and to generate supportive evidence for the beneficial bio-distribution profile. In addition, the grant will support Cristal Therapeutics’ collaboration with various academic and commercial parties to generate clinical trial material and perform several preclinical mechanism of action studies.
CriPec®-docetaxel is a new drug modality that entraps docetaxel, a clinically validated chemotherapy (trade name Taxotere®), as its therapeutic payload into nanoparticles. This nanomedicine candidate is specifically designed to enable enhanced tumour accumulation and sustained drug release at the target site, to boost the therapeutic efficacy and to overcome the shortfalls associated with current docetaxel products, such as the toxic systemic side effects.
Based on preliminary positive Phase 1a results from the open-label, safety and pharmacokinetic study, CriPec®-docetaxel is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1b study to confirm the recommended Phase 2 dose level and treatment regimen.
Dr. Cristianne Rijcken, Cristal Therapeutics’ CSO and Founder said: “We are delighted that the European Commission has chosen to support the Phase 2 clinical development of CriPec®-docetaxel. Horizon 2020 funding is very competitive and securing this funding is a testament to the exciting clinical potential of our targeted nanomedicine as a superior treatment for patients with solid tumours.”
The funding is from the Phase 2 grants within the SME Instrument of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 scheme, which supports biotechnology SMEs closing the gap from the lab to the market. There were 1514 applications for 13 topics. Of these, only 57 were selected for an aggregate funding of Euro 96.8M and Cristal Therapeutics was one of only three successful companies based in The Netherlands.