Asgard Therapeutics awarded Vinnova’s Innovative Startup Step 2

Posted 25 March, 2020

Asgard Therapeutics has been awarded the second step of Vinnova’s Innovative Startup program in order to further develop a new cancer immunotherapy based on dendritic cell reprogramming. 

Cancer remains one of the major challenges to modern society affecting one-in-three people in Europe. Cancer immunotherapies use the body’s own immune system to help fight cancer. Despite significant strides in developing immunotherapies, currently available treatments are highly effective in only a small proportion of patients and come with high price tags. There is thus an urgent need for innovative cost-effective immunotherapies effective in a broader range of cancer patients.

Asgard Therapeutics is developing TrojanDC, a Trojan horse therapy to enter tumors and incite revolution, by reprogramming cancer cells to become traitors to their kind. TrojanDC is a gene therapy that delivers reprogramming factors into the tumors forcing cancer cells to become antigen-presenting dendritic cells and induce targeted immune responses. Thus, Asgard’s approach bypasses cancer evasion mechanisms in an off-the-shelf, completely personalized therapy system.

– We have previously received Vinnova’s support through Innovative Startups Step 1 to develop our IP and regulatory strategy. We are very pleased to now receive the Step 2 grant that will allow us to consolidate our business case, says Cristiana Pires, CEO of Asgard Therapeutics.

Innovative Startups Step 2 program is promoted by Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova to support companies to further develop the solution or business from Step 1 project. Financial support from Step 2, 800 000 SEK, will be used to strengthen Asgard Therapeutics’ technical and commercial strategic roadmap. These activities, combined with ongoing R&D, will allow Asgard to secure funding investment required to start producing GMP-grade TrojanDC and enter pivotal non-clinical trials. Recently, Asgard was also selected to receive 400 000 SEK from Vinnova’s VFT+ program managed by LU Innovation. This grant will be used to complement the Vinnova’s grant and address commercial risks. Together, these grants will bring TrojanDC a step closer to patients in need.

For more information:
Cristiana Pires, co-founder and CEO Asgard Therapeutics,
+46(0)731 566 072 or

Asgard Therapeutics was founded in 2018 as a spin-off from Lund University aiming to advance cancer immunotherapies by developing a paradigm-shifting gene therapy – TrojanDC. Driven by the urgent need for new cost-effective immunotherapies consistently effective in a broad range of patients, Asgard is developing the world’s first cancer immunotherapy based on direct cell reprogramming, forcing cancer cells to become immunogenic and unleashing the immune system against cancer.

Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @AsgardThx.