Interview with Moa Fransson – CEO of Genagon Therapeutics

Genagon Therapeutics is developing innovative ways to use therapeutic antibodies to fight tumors. Here, CEO Moa Fransson tells us more about the company, what 2021 looks like and how she hopes to benefit from and contribute to the SwedenBIO community.

What will happen in your company in 2021?

– In 2021, we are preparing our therapeutic program in breast cancer for clinical trials. We have promising antibody candidates that we will evaluate in different efficacy models relevant to the disease. Together with our partners, we have planned a full preclinical program that includes all relevant elements. We are growing as a company and in 2021 we will expand our operational team with regulatory and R&D expertise. It will be an exciting year!

You are working on developing antibodies that could offer new treatment options for cancer and other diseases. How has your business been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

– We collaborate with academic labs and companies all over the world and this has caused various problems during the year with Corona. A number of very important deliveries have been missed and important meetings that we expected have not taken place.

– Much of what has happened has required new solutions. We have launched consortia for major discussions and found innovative solutions for delivery. Most things work out when you take the time to talk to each other and at the end of the day we have a responsibility to our owners and have an obligation to find new and better solutions.

Why is your research important?

– In 2020, we have received exciting and promising results in our breast cancer project that puts us on the map in the important area of tumor associated macrophages in solid cancer.

– Despite major advances in cancer treatment over the past decade, there is still a large proportion of patients for whom modern T-cell checkpoint inhibitors (PD1/PDL1) are insufficient for treatment efficacy. We now know that three quarters of women with the most severe form of breast cancer have no modern and effective treatment options. Our goal is to characterize therapeutic targets with novel treatment mechanisms to help these patients.

– A major contributor to the lack of efficacy is a massive infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages, which contribute to tumor growth and metastasis. By using therapeutic antibodies against the tumor-associated macrophages, we can change the tumor microenvironment and fight the tumor, which will lead to a much better prognosis and survival.

How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the SwedenBIO community?

– We look forward to participating in the community that Swedenbio has built. As a small company, we rely on many strong relationships and a large network of contacts to reach out with our project and to attract the resources and knowledge that will be required to take our projects all the way to completion.