CureLab to address the growing burden of cancer in APAC : Dr. Alexander Shneider

17 October 2022 | Monday | News

BioPharma APAC, In an interaction with Dr. Alexander Shneider, CEO of CureLab Oncology
Dr. Alexander Shneider, CEO of CureLab Oncology

Dr. Alexander Shneider, CEO of CureLab Oncology


Dr. Shneider is the CEO of CureLab Oncology, bringing more than 25 years of biotech and entrepreneurial experience. He is currently a senior research fellow of molecular biology at the University of Ariel, Israel; and an editorial board member for the journals Aging and International Reviews of Immunology

His past achievements and activities include drug development, patents in all major jurisdictions, advisory role for successful exits, consultant for Fortune 100 companies, establishing and leading international R&D consortia, and a senior authorship role in papers and books. Alex holds a PhD. in life science and MSc. in molecular biotechnology. Connect with Dr. Shneider at   


How is CureLab addressing the growing burden of cancer in APAC? 

Cancer is the second-most deadly disease in the Asia-Pacific region. Cancer among women is becoming increasingly important in the region, where breast cancer is now one of the leading forms of cancer.

CureLab Oncology has demonstrated with statistical significance that its lead product, Elenagen, is clinically efficient in combatting the deadliest form of ovarian cancer, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Also, preliminary clinical results have demonstrated promising effects for the deadliest form of breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer. Clinical testing in other forms of cancer relevant to APAC region will follow. 

Also, Elenagen leverages the power of plasmids, a circular DNA that encodes a specific gene, p62. Plasmids represent a more cost-effective approach than other modern forms of cancer treatments, such as monoclonal antibodies or cell therapy. This means that a plasmid-based therapy can provide an attainable clinical solution to a broad spectrum of countries and patients, not only to the richest ones, without placing an enormous financial burden on the healthcare system in those countries.  

What are the key strategies and plans carved out by the company?

We have defined a four-step strategy:

  1. Repeat successful ex-US clinical trials for ovarian and breast cancers within the USA and after a successful Phase II that demonstrates statistically significant benefits of Elenagen, license it out to a large pharmaceutical company. To that end, we are currently raising a round of investment. 
  2. Meanwhile, continue the ex-US trials for those types of disease that we have not yet tested. If we can demonstrate clinical benefits for these diseases, repeat these trials in the USA or EU for further out-licensing opportunities. 
  3. License regional rights to local pharmaceutical companies so they can apply Elenagen as a therapy in specific diseases on those markets. 
  4. Partner with local medical authorities in less affluent countries, offering them local rights for their country in exchange for conducting local clinical trials at their expense—and having access to the data for future decision making. 

Besides cancer, which other non-communicable diseases in APAC are you looking at? 

We are looking at all diseases of chronic inflammation, including age-associated diseases, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and arthritis, cardiovascular (including hypertension), CNS (including Alzheimer’s), psychiatric diseases (including depression), and dermatological conditions (including psoriasis).  

What clinical results can you share?

  • In our ex-US clinical trial, we are assessing the ability of Elenagen to extend progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer who are receiving the standard chemotherapy, gemcitabine. 
  • For those patients in the trial who received the standard of care only, the disease progressed during the first year of observations, with 50% of patients progressing within 2.7 months.
  • In contrast, the disease did not progress at all for almost 40% of patients who received the same gemcitabine in combination with weekly intramuscular injections of Elenagen. 
  • In 50% of patients receiving standard of care only, the disease has progressed within 2.7 months, while the time to progression for 50% of patients in the “chemo plus Elenagen” group has increased to 7.2 months. 
  • To date, no patient receiving Elenagen has demonstrated any adverse event (AE) or significant adverse event (SAE) greater than grade 1, and all resolved quickly without impact.
  • So far, the longest PFS in the gemcitabine + Elenagen treatment group is 27 months (and continues to grow), while the disease has progressed in all patients in the gemcitabine-only group within less than 12 months. 


Apart from human health issues, which animal health-related conditions are you working on?

CureLab Oncology’s sister company, CureLab Veterinary, is applying the same plasmid-based therapy for the treatment of canine and feline cancers, osteoarthritis, IBD, and aging. Again, we are seeing very encouraging results in our clinical studies: we saved 10 out of 11 dogs with breast cancer.

Are you exploring any research related to long-covid or its association with cancer?

COVID is a killer for patients with chronic inflammation: elderly patients, patients with diabetes, hypertension, and so on. All these conditions are manifestations of chronic inflammation, which we mitigate. Thus, our product could become a crucial element of reducing COVID mortality and reducing the severity of COVID in high-risk groups.

We also know that post-COVID complications such as cardiovascular disorders are a direct result of COVID-induced chronic inflammation. We are hopeful that our product could become a crucial element of a treatment regimen to reduce post-COVID syndromes.  


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