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Project description

A Trojan horse rolls into tumour cells, inciting treason

Cancer immunotherapies use the body's own immune system to help fight cancer. Despite tremendous strides and significant resources dedicated to developing novel immunotherapies, currently available treatments are highly effective in only a small proportion of patients. Cancer is a large family of diseases with a complicated diversity of causes and characteristics, significantly increasing the difficulty of achieving personalised and effective treatment. The Swedish start-up Asgard Therapeutics, coordinating the EU-funded TrojanDC project, has developed a Trojan horse to enter tumours and incite revolution, causing cancer cells to become traitors to their kind. Intra-tumoural injection of the TrojanDC gene therapy makes cancer cells become antigen-presenting dendritic cells, bypassing cancer evasion mechanisms in an off-the-shelf, completely personalised therapy system. It could be a silver bullet for any tumour.


Asgard Therapeutics, a Swedish start-up company, was founded based on a unique proprietary in vivo cell reprogramming technology. This paradigm-shifting gene therapy has the unique potential to overhaul the cancer immunotherapy market.

Our gene therapy, named TrojanDC, delivers immune-genes into the tumor and re-educates cancer cells to become anti-tumor immune cells. It uses a viral vector to deliver a unique combination of three critical transcription factors (genes) through intra-tumoral injection. The transcription factors make cancer cells become antigen-presenting dendritic cells. These immunogenic cells present their own diversity of tumor-specific antigens to effector immune cells, reliably and robustly inducing immune responses that eradicate the heterogeneous tumor.

Cancer remains a major health challenge. Currently available immunotherapies show strong effectiveness only in a limited number of patients, and often lose their efficacy as the tumor develops resistance. In addition, immunotherapies come with high price (e.g. CAR-T cell approach costing approx. € 350k/patient). Despite these shortcomings, the global immune-oncology market is one of the fastest growing therapeutics markets (€114.6 B by 2024 with a CAGR of 14.3%). Large players like BMS, Merck and Roche have shown to be keen on acquisitions of high-potential technologies. There is thus an urgent need and high demand for innovative cost-effective immunotherapies consistently effective in a broader range of cancer patients – something that Asgard Therapeutics will deliver with TrojanDC in the form of a personalized and highly specific immune therapy using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

With in-vivo proof-of-concept data already obtained and a balanced team of high-performing scientists and seasoned entrepreneurs, Asgard Therapeutics has locked up key factors towards maximizing its chances of success. This SME instrument grant will ensure a sound strategy towards commercialization of TrojanDC.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
223 81 Lund

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Södra Sverige Sydsverige Skåne län
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00