Pephexia Therapeutics is a biotechnology company working with the discovery and development of novel peptide-based pharmacotherapies for an effective and convenient treatment of cachexia, sarcopenia, and related diseases.
Cachexia is a severe and growing wasting disease that affects up to 12 million patients and causes a total of 1.5-2.0 million deaths per year1.
Cachexia is defined as un-intended weight loss of a least 5% in 12 months or less. A range of underlying diseases can cause cachexia, most commonly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and rheumatoid arthritis2. In cancer cachexia accounts for 20% of the deaths3, and in COPD cachexia is associated with 50% reduction in median survival4. Cachexia patients often experience a loss of appetite and a loss of muscle tissue and strength leading to fatigue, and an overall lowered quality of life2. Moreover, cachexia is associated with an abnormal metabolism with a range of immune, neurohormonal, and biochemical abnormalities associated with the underlying pathologies and a negative energy balance. Treatment of cachexia includes nutritional supplementation, however there is still a large unmet medical need for novel and efficacious pharmacotherapies to improve the quality of life of these patients.
1Von Haehling et al. (2016) JCSM 7 (5), 507-509; 2Eldrige and Dorg (2019) Verywellhealth; 3Fortune Business Insights: Cancer cachexia – pipeline review 2019; 4Wagner et al. (2008) Eur Respir J 31, 492-501.
We aim to deliver a novel, innovative, and effective pharmacotherapy for the treatment of cachexia based on naturally occurring peptide hormones.
Board of Directors
Scientific Advisory Board
Pephexia selects clinical candidate and expands the organization with clinical competencies
October 31st 2023
Pephexia is happy to announce that a clinical candidate has been nominated from Pephexia’s lead program in cancer cachexia. As a next step the drug candidate, a metabolic peptide, will be progressed towards clinical development through regulatory and CTA-enabling non-clinical studies.
Reflecting this significant progress Pephexia is delighted to welcome two excellent new clinical advisors – Dr. Jonas Sørensen and Prof. Lars J. Pedersen – who with their elaborate clinical experience within cancer and cachexia fields will support the further development of our clinical candidate.
Finally, Pephexia is very pleased to receive a second industrial Postdoc grant from the Innovation Fond Denmark for Camilla Lund, PhD. Camilla comes with a strong background in metabolic research and will in collaboration with Associate Professor Lykke Sylow strengthen the understanding of the mode-of-actions of metabolic peptides in cancer cachexia.
Pephexia has entered research collaboration with Yale University
February 20th 2023
We are pleased to announce that Pephexia Therapeutics ApS has entered a Research Collaboration with Assistant Professor Marc Schneeberger Pané at Yale University. With state-of-the-art imaging technologies Dr. Schneeberger Pane laboratory is investigating how neuronal, immune, and vascular networks coordinately control energy homeostasis. The collaboration aims at investigating the mode-of-action (MoA) of novel peptide drug candidate developed by Pephexia Therapeutics and will strengthen Pephexia’s ambition to bring novel innovative cancer cachexia therapeutics to the market.
Pephexia enters collaboration with Maastricht University
November 22nd 2022
We are very happy to announce that Pephexia Therapeutics ApS has entered a research collaboration with Wouter van de Worp at Maastricht University. Dr. Van de Worp, in the group of Dr. Ramon Langen, has developed orthotopic mouse models of cancer cachexia with improved translatability to the human situation. The collaboration aims at characterizing novel peptide therapeutics developed by Pephexia Therapeutics and highlights Pephexia’s ambition to bring novel innovative cancer cachexia therapeutics to the market.
Pephexia adds medical and financial expertise to the team
September 1st 2022
Pephexia has again strengthened the team and added 2 experienced bio-tech profiles and it’s a pleasure to announce that Charlotte Videbæk joins as Medical Advisor and Jan K. Villadsen as Financial Advisor.
Pephexia receives Grant from the Danish Innovation Fund
March 9th 2022
Pephexia Therapeutics ApS have received a Grant of 4.7M DKK from the Danish Innovation Fund. This is the second grant following the successful execution of the first minor Innobooster project. Now in the second major Innobooster project it is the intention to mature Pephexia lead project for Cancer Cachexia towards Lead selection and characterization.
A few facts about cachexia
The major underlying diseases of cachexia are COPD, Cancer and Congestive Heart Failure1. As an example up to 40% of patients with COPD experience muscle wasting2.
1Von Haehling et al. (2016) JCSM 7 (5), 507-509; 2Sanders et al (2016) JCSM 7 (1), 5-22.
Cachexia in cancer is responsible for around 20% deaths among cancer patients globally3.
3Fortune Business Insights: Cancer cachexia – pipeline review 2019.
Cachexia in COPD is associated with 50% reduction in median survival4.
4Wagner et al. (2008) Eur Respir J 31, 492-501.