Oncorena Strengthens its Management Team and Appoints Professor Börje Haraldsson as Chief Scientific Officer


LUND, SWEDEN, February 2, 2022 – Oncorena, developing a potential breakthrough therapy for advanced renal cancer, announced today that Professor Börje Haraldsson has joined the Management Team as Chief Scientific Officer effective February 1. Professor Haraldsson, M.D., Ph.D., FASN, FAST, is one of the founders of Oncorena. Being a world leader in clinical and experimental renal research, he will bring a wealth of clinical experience and competence to the company.

Most recently, Professor Börje Haraldsson held a tenure as Global Program Head at Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, where he during seven years successfully initiated and lead high-profile development projects in nephrology, transplantation, and rheumatology. Before he moved to Switzerland, the Swedish Research Council supported his research with grants for 25 years without interruption. He has also been the Chair of Nephrology for 15 years combined with chief consultantship at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg. Furthermore, at the University of Gothenburg, he also served as Vice Dean for five years and at the Board of Directors for two years.

Oncorena’s drug candidate orellanine, which has an unique mode of action, is being developed for organ-specific chemotherapy with curative potential for patients with advanced kidney cancer undergoing dialysis due to kidney failure. The company’s Phase I-II clinical trial of orellanine, the first-in-class compound, has recently been initiated. 

“It is truly a great pleasure to welcome Börje Haraldsson to our team. I am proud that he has accepted the new and important role as Chief Scientific Officer at Oncorena. Börje is a purpose-driven, compassionate, and constructive leader well suited to lead our research to best serve patients with advanced renal cancer. It is our hope that the results from our clinical study will be of great benefit to patients in the future,” said Lars Grundemar, Chief Executive Officer of Oncorena.

For further information, please contact
Lars Grundemar, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Oncorena AB
E-mail: lars.grundemar@oncorena.com
Phone +46 (0)76 209 5518

About the Phase I-II clinical trial
In 2021, the Swedish Medical Products Agency approved Oncorena’s first clinical trial of orellanine in patients with advanced renal cancer undergoing dialysis. The Phase I-II clinical trial of orellanine enrols patients with advanced renal cancer already on dialysis due to renal failure. The study is conducted at the Centre for Clinical Cancer Studies at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, and will study safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and signs of anti-tumour effects in treatment with a synthetic form of orellanine. In February 2022, the clinical development phase was initiated at the Karolinska University Hospital. The Phase I-II trial will include up to 40 patients and may include patients from other European countries.

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 renal 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 great 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 Oncorenas website at www.oncorena.com.