Betulacea Pharma - improved quality of life during cancer

Market need and potential

Our innovative approach address two unmet clinical needs in cancer management; to reduce cancer induced cachexia and promote reactivation of the immune system.
Even in a patient with low tumor burden the cancer can trigger processes that both can lead to immune-suppression and induction of cancer cachexia, which will ultimately lead to death if the symptoms cannot be reversed.

Both the suppression of the immune system and the management of cachectic patients are major clinical challenges, where unwanted weight loss (cachexia) is a problem without any therapeutic options and accounts for more than 15 % of all cancer deaths. On the other hand, immune reactivators, like PD1/PDL1 targeted therapies have been blockbusters, but due to high therapy costs and inadequate companion diagnostics they have limit use.

In our approach our novel chemical entities (NCE) can affect both these processes by prevent over activation of underlying signaling pathways. The NCE are modeled based on excising pharmaceuticals that are well tolerable and easy to produce, thereby offering a cost effective therapeutic compound.
Treatments targeting the immune system, promoting the patient’s own healing capacity, are often considered the future of cancer treatment.

Our solution

We will via a once daily pill offer increased survival, improved quality of life and less suffering for
many cancer patients. This will be a first in class drug with little side effects (known drug class), addressing cancer induced cachexia and suppression of the immune system.

Competitive advantages

• Unmet medical need
• Increased survival and quality of life
• Well tolerable
• Cost effective

Competition or alternatives

The development of small molecules in immune-oncology is an emerging area with most compounds in an early stage, only a few have reached the clinic. We are not aware of any programs with a similar approach as ours. Furthermore, the interplay between the immune system and the tumor cells is complex and multifaceted requiring a multitude of approaches and combinations to effectively treat and potentially also cure the cancer.


Freedom to operate and novel chemical entities exists.

Current status

Chemistry program design and synthesis – NCEs have been designed and synthesized
In vitro screening of NCEs - we have screened the NCEs for target interaction on human and murine receptors and confirmed high affinity binders.
Ongoing; in vivo testing of NCEs in relevant animal models and MoA studies
Initial investor/ pharmaceutical company need analysis performed

Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI)
Box 7995, SE-907 36 Umeå, Sweden
Phone: +46(0)90- 15 49 70