What is Brain Tumor?

Brain tumors refer to all tumors that form within the skull. Depending on the origin, brain tumors are categorized into primary (cancer starting in the brain) and metastatic (cancer spreading from other organs to the brain). Glioblastoma Multiforme, or GBM, the most malignant primary brain cancer, is difficult to treat. The average patient survives only 15 months, and 5-year survival rate is as low as 5%.

What is the Incidence?

According to the Korean Brain Tumor Society, brain tumors are the third most prevalent among all tumors in human bodies, taking up 10% in adults, and 20 – 40% in children. International statistics show that 10 out of 100,000 people develop new brain tumors each year. In Korea, 2,500 to 4,500 people are newly diagnosed with brain tumor every year, and there are about 20,000 patients suffering at the moment.

Discovering New Drug Target

Professor Park Jongbae and his team at National Cancer Center discovered that when tumor cells are stressed out due to less oxygen or other reasons, LRRK2 volume increases. Though analysis of tumor tissues of 102 Korean brain cancer patients, they also found out that patients with over-expressed LRRK2 survive significantly shorter than their counterparts. This is clinical evidence that LRRK2 plays a key role in advancing the brain cancer.

Therapy Development Status

Efficacy for Brain Cancer
We used an orthotopic model, where cancer cells of brain cancer patients resistant to cancer drugs were transplanted into the brains of mice. In this test, the group which used the compound survived more than twice longer than the group which did not. Also, the nonclinical toxicity study proved outstanding brain penetration and safety.

Expansion to New Indications
In normal tissues, LRRK2 were found abundantly in two particular organs, and rarely in others. However, when Professor Park Jongbae and his team at National Cancer Center analyzed tissues of various cancer patients, they found increased amounts of LRRK2 in some patients with pancreatic, breast, liver or gastric cancer. This means that LRRK2 may play a key role in advancing other types of tumors. The efficacy has been confirmed for gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer and triple negative breast cancer, and research is ongoing for expansion to other indications.

Use as a Biomarker for Successful Clinical Trial

We are also working to develop technologies to accurately measure LRRK2 in patients’ tumor tissues and blood. We plan to check the correlation between the amount of LRRK2 in tumor patients and drug reactivity, and use it as a biomarker. We expect that by selecting patients with increased LRRK2 for drug administration, the clinical trial will be more likely to succeed.

Source: Dhruv, Harshil D., et al. “Propentofylline
inhibits glioblastoma cell invasion and survival by targeting the TROY
signaling pathway.” Journal of neuro-oncology 126.3 (2016): 397-404.

Park Jongbae, PhD/ Dean, Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, National Cancer Center

Brain tumors advance to the most malignant glioblastoma after repeated relapse and treatment. The ultimate cause of low survival rate is tumor stem cells. Most cancer cells are killed by cancer drugs and radiotherapy, but these tumor stem cells survive to become more malignant tumors. LRRK2 is a novel kinase target that helps cancer cells survive in challenging conditions such as low oxygen and become more malignant. We sincerely hope that Voronoi develops this new LRRK2 targeted therapy to open a new chapter in tumor treatment and give patients a new light of hope.

Son Jung bum, PhD/Head of Research Center, Voronoi Bio

Voronoi’s first anti-cancer compound boasts excellent safety and sufficient brain penetration. Nonclinical toxicity study has proved that the compound’s tolerability was high enough to be used for chronic diseases. Many animal tests including monkey tests have shown that it penetrates the BBB so fast that there was almost no gap between drug concentration in the blood and the brain. Also, it was not found to have accumulated in the brain tissues or other organs. Along with the high activity on brain tumor stem cells, these are the two characteristics that merit high hopes for clinical results.

Normal

Jaeyoung kim

(Korean) 나의 하루가 누군가의 더 나은 삶을 위해 쓰인다는 것

Pipeline

VRN02, DYRK1A, Autoimmune Disease

VRN02 program is under development for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, by inhibiting DYRK1A kinase activity. Series of animal experiments have suggested that VRN02 has efficacy for major autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, and atopic dermatitis, and we are expanding into other indications. VRN02 is under development not only as oral pills, but also as topical formulation to apply on skin.

Pipeline

VRN04, RIPK1, Autoimmune diseases

VRN04 program is under development for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, by inhibiting RIPK1 kinase activity. Series of animal experiments have suggested that VRN04 has efficacy for major inflammatory diseases such as acute lung injury, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease, and we are expanding into other indications.

Pipeline

VRN08, TTK, Triple-negative Breast cancer

Voronoi’s VRN08 program aims to treat TNBC by targeting TTK. We plan to expand indication to other solid tumors like pancreatic cancer and brain cancer. As TNBC, pancreatic cancer, and brain cancer are areas where existing targeted therapeutics and immuno-oncology drugs have little efficacy, development of effective and safe therapeutics is urgently needed.

Pipeline

VRN02, DYRK1A, Autoimmune diseases

VRN02 program is under development for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, by inhibiting DYRK1A kinase activity. Series of animal experiments have suggested that VRN02 has efficacy for major autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, and atopic dermatitis, and we are expanding into other indications. VRN02 is under development not only as oral pills, but also as topical formulation to apply on skin.

Pipeline

VRN01, LRRK2, Glioblastoma

VRN01 program is under development for the treatment of brain tumor, especially GBM (Glioblastoma multiforme) which is known to be the most malignant form of brain tumor, by inhibiting LRRK2 kinase activity.

People

Creating innovation with Harvard

Dr. Bae is in charge of Voronoi’s joint international research, including joint research in Boston with Dr. Nathanael Gray, a professor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Pipeline

Brain Tumor

We are developing a new therapy targeting brain tumor stem cells, a cause of brain tumor relapse. We are working to treat GBM, or Glioblastoma, the most malignant form of brain cancer.

Pipeline

Alzheimer’s Disease

We are developing a therapy that targets both amyloid beta and tau.
Animal tests have proven that Voronoi’s candidate significantly suppresses them and
substantially improves cognitive function.

Pipeline

Chronic Inflammatory Disease

TNF- α is well known as a core cause of inflammation, accompanied by autoimmune diseases. Voronoi has identified a candidate compound that blocks signal transduction of TNF- α. We are now developing therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, systemic psoriasis, xerophthalmia, macular degeneration and degenerative brain disease.

Pipeline

Non-Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma

We identified a candidate that can overcome the EGFR (Epidermal growth factor receptor) resistance issues existing cancer drugs had. The candidate is being developed as therapy for lung cancer and various solid cancers.

Science

Pipeline

We focus on developing therapies for intractable and rare diseases.

Science

R&D Platform

We lead next-generation therapy development based on advanced technologies and platform.

Science

Collaboration

"Voronoi endeavors to open a new chapter in tumor treatment, giving patients new hope."

Meet the experts

Nathanael Gray, PhD

​Nathanael Gray is the Nancy-Lurie Marks Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Company

Our work

Voronoi develops novel TPD (Target protein degraders) and kinase inhibitors with the aim to treat intractable and rare diseases. We are developing competitive therapies based on deep understanding of diseases and innovative technologies.

Company

About VORONOI

Voronoi Group consists of the parent company Voronoi and its subsidiaries Voronoi Bio and B2S Bio. Voronoi leads clinical development throughout the R&D journey. Voronoi Bio focuses on R&D of molecular modeling and kinase inhibitor, and B2S Bio focuses on TPD.

People

Meet the experts

Our experts and the management bring to the team years of experience and expertise in various fields.