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HealthCap makes 104th investment as Swedish company Oncorena secures SEK 24m financing

Gothenburg, Sweden, September 29, 2016


Oncorena secures MSEK 24 for clinical studies of metastasized kidney cancer


Oncorena Holding AB today announces that the company through a new share issue has secured capital to conduct clinical studies of a completely new treatment principle for kidney cancer. The capital has been raised from Oncorena’s current largest owner
P.U.L.S. AB and through an investment by HealthCap. Furthermore, several wealthy private investors, including new as well as current shareholders in Oncorena, have contributed substantially.


The capital infusion is aimed at covering costs for the final preclinical preparations and conducting a clinical Phase 1/2a trial. In the study, which will be conducted in Sweden and in the US, dialysis patients with metastatic kidney cancer will be treated with the potential new drug orellanine. Orellanine is a substance that is taken up specifically by kidney cancer cells and kidney cells and experimental studies have shown very promising results.


“It’s very encouraging for the severely ill patients who are waiting for an effective treatment that this capital infusion now can accelerate the project into clinical studies,” says Jan Törnell, CEO of Oncorena.


“At this stage it’s strategically important for Oncorena to get a new strong owner like HealthCap, which in addition to capital also contributes with great knowledge and a broad contact network,” says Pontus Ottosson, CEO of PULS.


“Oncorena has a drug candidate under development with the potential to radically improve the treatment of severely ill kidney cancer patients. HealthCap’s investment ensures that the first clinical studies can be performed and that this medically important project can develop further,” says Björn Odlander, partner at HealthCap.


“It’s encouraging that Oncorena enjoys such a great confidence among investors. We welcome HealthCap as a new major shareholder in the company,” says Bengt-Åke Bengtsson, Chairman of the Board of Oncorena.


For further information, please contact

Jan Törnell, CEO, Oncorena Holding AB,,
phone +46 (0)70 676 0008


Björn Odlander, partner, HealthCap,,
phone +46 (0)8 442 5850


Pontus Ottosson, CEO, P.U.L.S. AB,,
phone +46 (0)70 535 9334


Bengt-Åke Bengtsson, Chairman of the Board, Oncorena Holding AB,, phone +46 (0)70 746 0000


About kidney cancer

Approximately 1,000 patients are affected by kidney cancer annually in Sweden and around 600 of them die. 80% of the patients are between 40 and 69 years of age when they are diagnosed (median age 63 years). The disease can often be cured with surgery if detected in time, but unfortunately the diagnosis is often made when the tumor has already spread to other organs. The prognosis is then considerably less favorable and certain groups have a median survival of only approx. 1.5 years. Today the disease is treated with various types of targeted drugs, often with severe side effects, and standard chemotherapy drugs have only very limited effect. There is therefore a great need for new, effective and safe drugs.


About Oncorena

Oncorena develops a completely new and potentially revolutionizing treatment for patients with metastatic kidney cancer. The treatment is based on research from the University of Gothenburg led by professors Börje Haraldsson and Jenny Nyström. The project was initially developed with support from Vinnova and GU Ventures. Oncorena is a part of the P.U.L.S. AB portfolio since 2013 and PULS remains the largest shareholder after this financing. The substance, orellanine, originally emanates from a mushroom and has been ingested by mistake by a number of people. The effects are well documented and are limited to the kidneys. As the target group for the treatment is patients with metastatic kidney cancer who are undergoing dialysis the side effect profile is believed to be relatively mild. Experimental studies indicate that the effect may be dramatically positive. The preclinical studies will be completed in the autumn of 2016, whereupon the clinical study is expected to start in the spring of 2017.


About HealthCap
HealthCap started its operations in 1996 and makes focused investments in Life Science. HealthCap has raised more than EUR 1 billion in capital, invested in over 100 companies and among other things carried out more than 30 stock market IPO’s around the world.


About PULS
P.U.L.S. AB (Partners för Utvecklingsinvesteringar inom Life Sciences) is a unique life science development company. PULS invests in projects at an early stage and develops the innovations in close collaboration with the innovators from ideas to an attractive investment opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry. Since 2002 PULS has started 10 companies and exited three, one of which (LIDDS) has been listed. PULS has its headquarters in Helsingborg, Sweden. Active project companies are: AcuCort, Adenovir Pharma, Glactone Pharma, Laccure, Oncorena and Trophea.