NRC and KalGene targeting brain cancers

Article Date: July 21, 2014

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and KalGene Pharmaceuticals are proud to announce an agreement to co-develop a new treatment against aggressive brain cancers.

By combining their research, NRC and KalGene are targeting glioblastomas, which are severe brain tumours associated with a median patient survival of about 15 months. The collaboration couples KalGene’s proprietary therapeutic antibody with NRC’s single domain antibodies to enable delivery inside the brain, a promising strategy that may lead to improved outcomes for patients. Acting as carriers, NRC’s antibodies will shuttle KalGene’s antibody across the challenging blood-brain barrier to target the tumour cells in the brain.

Quick Facts

The blood-brain barrier is composed of tightly woven cells that safeguard the brain by repelling harmful agents such as bacteria, while allowing the passage of critical nutrients. Overcoming the barrier is a significant challenge in addressing many diseases affecting the brain; virtually 100% of large molecule medicines are unable to cross the barrier.

NRC has engineered a pipeline of single domain antibodies that exploit the mechanisms needed for the entry of nutrients in order to enable the delivery of medicine, like a Trojan horse.

KalGene is committed to oncology programs that improve clinical and survival outcomes through precision medicine, which seeks to predict which patients will respond to a particular therapy in advance of treatment.


"NRC is proud to add significant value to and accelerate development of KalGene’s promising treatment, which may lead to improved outcomes for patients."

Dr. Roman Szumski, Vice-President of Life Sciences at the National Research Council of Canada


"We are very much looking forward to our collaboration with NRC. This partnership will certainly help accelerate the global development and commercialization of our oncology innovation, and allow KalGene to bring innovative personalized oncology products to patients."

Dr. T. Nathan Yoganathan, President and Chief Executive Officer, KalGene Pharmaceuticals.


Additional Links

KalGene Pharmaceuticals

Therapeutics Beyond Brain Barriers Program

Molecular "Trojan horse" video

Contact information

Media Relations Team

National Research Council of Canada

Telephone: 613-991-1431

Toll-free: 1-855-282-1637 (24/7)


Twitter: @nrc_cnrc


Dr.T. Nathan Yoganathan

President and CEO

KalGene Pharmaceuticals