Agreement between IOR and BIMINI Biotech to develop new drugs
Institutional Communication Service
23 January 2023
The USI-affiliated Institute of Oncology Research (IOR) has reached a licensing agreement with BIMINI Biotech, a startup from the Netherlands, to acquire and further develop a novel first-in-class Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASp) activator.
The technology is based on pioneering research by the group of Professor Francesco Bertoni, vice-director of IOR in Bellinzona and Group Leader of the Lymphoma Genomics Lab. This protein plays an important role in the aggressiveness of lymphomas, and by activating it, it is possible to destabilize lymphomas by causing cancer cell death.
Digvijay Gahtory, CEO of BIMINI Biotech: “We are very excited to bring this first-in-class approach forward to the patients. There is a strong unmet medical need for new mechanisms of action in relapsed or refractory lymphoma patients. We look forward to our collaboration with the IOR.”
Francesco Bertoni, vice director of IOR: “It is important to have anti-cancer molecules with novel mechanisms of action. This allows to possibly overcome the resistance that, unfortunately, cancer cells often develop to drugs and also to think of novel active combination regimens. Thanks to the work of our team, and especially of Dr Eugenio Gaudio, we created BM-011 that targets a protein not already targeted by currently available drugs and that shows very encouraging in vitro and in vivo anti-lymphoma activity. Importantly, BM-011 remains active in both lymphoma and multiple myeloma cells that have developed resistance to approved drugs, such as BTK or proteasome inhibitors. This project is a nice example of technology transfer bridging basic science with the private industry for the benefit of the patients. We’ve full trust in the Colleagues at BIMINI Biotech and we are convinced that the company will be able to move forward this approach towards the clinics.”