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Oncorena expands its management team and strengthens its focus on the company’s initiated clinical Phase I-II study with orellanine


LUND, SWEDEN, September 29, 2022 – Oncorena AB, which is developing a new and potentially groundbreaking treatment for patients with advanced kidney cancer, announces that the company has expanded its management team. The company has succeeded in taking the big step from preclinical to clinical development, which has resulted in the Oncorena team being strengthened with additional resources and expertise in clinical drug development. The management team has now been expanded with Jack Welch as Chief Medical Officer and Susanna Dahlgren as Project Director.

Jack Welch, M.D., Ph.D. in pharmacology, has many years of experience from research and clinical development work in the field of cancer from leading roles at, among others, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the US National Cancer Institute’s CTEP Office. Susanna Dahlgren, Ph.D. in clinical immunology at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, has solid experience and cutting-edge competence in drug development in roles as project manager for drug projects from preclinical to clinical development in various phases. 

Oncorena’s drug candidate orellanine, which has a unique mode of action, is being developed for organ-specific chemotherapy with potentially curative benefits for patients with advanced kidney cancer undergoing dialysis due to kidney failure. The company’s Phase I-II clinical study of orellanine, the first substance in its class, was initiated in February 2022. The study is being conducted at the Center for Clinical Cancer Studies at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and will study safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and signs of anti-tumour effects of the treatment with a synthetic form of orellanine. Patient recruitment is ongoing and currently patients from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Germany can participate in the study. Work is underway to make it possible to include patients from additional countries within the EU.

Börje Haraldsson, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer comments: “It is very gratifying that Oncorena is now expanding its management team with Jack Welch and Susanna Dahlgren. They complement the Oncorena team excellently with their respective cutting-edge competencies and experience from running clinical development programs.”

“I hope and look forward to soon being able to announce that the first patients have been recruited to our Phase I-II clinical study with orellanine for patients with advanced kidney cancer and kidney failure. It is a group of patients who are seriously ill and who today cannot be offered effective medical treatment”.

This release discusses investigational uses of an agent in development and is not intended to convey conclusions about efficacy or safety. There is no guarantee that any investigational uses of such product will successfully complete clinical development or gain health authority approval.

For further information, please contact
Börje Haraldsson, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Oncorena AB
Telephone: + 46 (0)70 267 9544

About orellanine
Orellanine, which has a new and unique mode of action, is being developed for organ-specific chemotherapy with curative potential for patients with advanced kidney cancer undergoing dialysis. Orellanine is found in mushrooms of the Cortinarius family, these are sometimes accidentally picked and eaten as they are mistaken for funnel chanterelles. The clinical effects of orellanine are well documented and are completely limited to the kidneys. Orellanine is expected to have positive effect on the two most common forms of kidney cancer: Clear-Cell and Papillary Kidney Cancer. About 90% of kidney cancer patients are affected by these types of cancer.

About kidney cancer
Approximately 400,000 patients are affected by kidney cancer globally according to the WHO. The disease can often be cured by surgery if detected in time, but unfortunately the diagnosis is often made when the tumour has already spread to other organs. The prognosis is then considerably less favourable and certain groups have a median survival of less than two years. Today the disease is treated with various types of targeted and immuno-active drugs, often with severe side effects, and standard chemotherapy drugs have limited effect. There is therefore a high and urgent unmet medical need for new, effective and safe drugs.

About Oncorena
Oncorena AB is a Swedish pharma company headquartered in Lund. The company develops a new potential breakthrough treatment for patients with advanced kidney cancer. The treatment is based on research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, led by professors Börje Haraldsson and Jenny Nyström. The project was initially developed with support from Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency, GU Ventures at the University of Gothenburg and private business angels. Today Oncorena is mainly financed by the investment companies HealthCap, Linc AB, Fåhraeus Startup and Growth AB, as well as the biotech company AQILION AB.
For more information, please visit Oncorena´s website at