Schlieren ZH – Biopharmaceutical company Elthera has been awarded a 2.5 million euro grant from Horizon 2020, the EU’s funding program for research and innovation. Elthera develops antibodies that can be used to treat cancer.

Elthera develops antibodies that respond to the molecule L1CAM, which it hopes will open the door to creating new personalized treatment options for cancer patients. Based in Schlieren in the canton of Zurich, the biopharmaceutical company has now received 2.5 million euros from Horizon 2020 (H2020), according to a press release.

“The total budget of H2020 is 80 billion euros,” said Justyna Tisserand, Project Officer at the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). “Of the 1848 of applications, only 68 grants were awarded, which speaks to the high quality of Elthera’s application as well as the potential impact in providing new treatments for cancer.”

Elthera is led by CEO Anne Schmidt. Prior to co-founding Elthera, she worked at Esbatech at the Bio-Technopark Schlieren-Zürich, before it was acquired by Basel-based pharmaceutical Novartis.

“This non-dilutive funding will enable the initiation of the process development and will also cover most of the cost for the manufacturing of the clinical candidates, getting us one step closer to assess the safety and efficacy in patients of anti L1CAM antibody therapy for several types of tumors, including ovarian and pancreatic cancer,” Schmidt said.

Every year, 12.5 new patients per 100,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and 11.5 new patients of 100,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Pancreatic cancer has a 5-year relative survival of only 5 percent; ovarian cancer 47 percent.

Elthera’s goal is to provide a personalized health care approach and has the exclusive license from the German Cancer Research Center (ZKFZ), Germany’s largest biomedical research institution and a leading center in oncology research.

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