Exiris is part of the European Training Network (ETN) MAGICBULLET, which was launched by the European Union in 2015 as part of the HORIZON 2020 program for research and innovation (more information available at www.uni-bielefeld.de/chemie/oc3sewald/magicbullet). The ETN developed several peptide-drug conjugates combining tumor specific peptdes with potent cytotoxic drugs. Since then, the ETN MAGICBULLET consortium has received around EUR 3.75 million to develop novel biochemical conjugates for anti-tumor therapies.
MAGICBULLET Reloaded is now expected to receive additional funds of more than EUR 3.9 million for the period from 2019 to 2022. The ETN MAGICBULLET Reloaded consortium comprises 18 teams of researchers from different European universities, research institutions and companies. So-called peptide drug conjugates (PDCs) were constructed and tested during the first funding period. As part of this process, instead of antibodies, such as ADCs, small peptides were used to target tumors and linked with cryptophicin. The potential advantage of such PDCs is their improved penetration of solid tumors. The research field for MAGICBULLET Reloaded is now being expanded to conjugates comprising folic acid or peptides as homing devices and HDAC inhibitors or tubulin-binding agents as toxins.