2024-05-14 06:20Press release

New innovative immunotherapy company founded by recognized life science profiles

Anki Malmborg HagerAnki Malmborg Hager, CEO of Lead Biologics

Lund, Sweden – The startup company Lead Biologics is dedicated to enhancing immunotherapy as a powerful weapon against cancer. By employing a groundbreaking research strategy, the company's team has successfully identified new ways to combat cancer, creating opportunities for more patients to benefit from this treatment method. Lead Biologics has been accepted into SmiLe's incubator program.

Immunotherapy harnesses the body's own immune system to fight cancer and is often a highly effective treatment method. Despite advancements in the field, there are still many patient groups that do not respond to treatment, partly due to cancer cells' ability to adapt and evade the immune system.

To address this dilemma, Lead Biologics' founders, a group of researchers from Lund University who are also behind the Lund-based company Cantargia, have combined several advanced technologies and cell models to discover entirely new mechanisms that cancer cells use to evade the immune system.

They have chosen to specifically study blood cancer stem cells, which represent the source of the disease and have developed strategies to evade the immune system. The researchers' hypothesis is that these cells utilize fundamental mechanisms that can also be exploited by other types of cancer – a hypothesis that the researchers have shown to be true for pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer, among others.

The researchers' discoveries have so far resulted in three promising projects for Lead Biologics. These projects will now undergo preclinical development to be ready for testing in patients. Lead Biologics chooses to collaborate early with other stakeholders to accelerate the process and maximize the potential to improve cancer care.

"Our ambition is to contribute to broader access to effective cancer treatments by focusing on our expertise in research and early development. Therefore, we will collaborate with pharmaceutical companies in subsequent clinical phases and have already received significant interest from these companies for our model. Our first main indication is acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common form of acute leukemia in adults and where the need for new therapies is significant. I am very pleased that we have been admitted as members of SmiLe and thus have access to the professional help and fantastic community they offer," says Anki Malmborg Hager, CEO of Lead Biologics.

Anki Malmborg Hager has previously successfully managed companies such as Diaprost, Cantargia, and SenzaGen.

"We are pleased to welcome Anki Malmborg Hager back to SmiLe as CEO of a new startup company in the field of cancer immunotherapy, an area that could revolutionize cancer care. Our focus on continuously expanding our network of industry experts, industrial partners, and investors provides an ecosystem that is ideal for supporting the growth and development of these important startups," says Ulrika Ringdahl, Chief Operating Officer of SmiLe.

Lead Biologics' founders are researchers Thoas Fioretos, Marcus Järås, Carl Sandén, and Niklas Landberg from Lund University, as well as Kjell Sjöström from the company Innovagen.

For more information, please contact:
Ulrika Ringdahl, COO of SmiLe, +46 (0) 736 566 232, ulrika.ringdahl@smileincubator.life

Language: English

About SmiLe Venture Hub – Pioneering Life Science Innovations

SmiLe is a leading venture hub that specializes in advancing life science startups from concept to commercialization. We offer comprehensive support through every stage of entrepreneurship, including tailored incubation and acceleration programs, a variety of educational courses, and access to top-tier lab facilities. To date, our flagship incubator program has supported over 100 startups, facilitating their collective acquisition of more than EUR 841 million in venture capital and contributing to 21 successful IPOs. Recognized as one of Europe’s leading startup hubs in 2024 by the Financial Times and Statista, SmiLe continues to be a catalyst for innovation in the life sciences sector. As a non-profit entity based in Lund, Sweden, SmiLe is supported by Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Lund University, and Medicon Village. We are also backed by our sponsors Agilent, Sparbanken Skåne, Høiberg, Setterwalls, Zacco, Key2Compliance, Phase Holographic Imaging, and ChemoMetec. For more information: www.smileventurehub.com