Swiss Rockets, a Basel-based incubator and accelerator of start-up companies in oncology and infectiology, acquired all assets and intellectual property of Piqur and transferred them to Torqur. Torqur is a platform for the discovery and efficient development of innovative anti-cancer therapies targeting the metabolic PI3K/mTOR intracellular signalling pathway.
Piqur Therapeutics AG, a biotech spin-off company of the University of Basel, was co-founded by Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic in 2011 to develop bimiralisib, a potent and balanced pan-PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, discovered by Vladimir and his sister Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic during their Ph.D. studies at the University of Basel. Since 2018 Vladimir and Natasa have been working together to further develop bimiralisib and a pipeline of next-generation PI3K/mTOR inhibitors under Swiss Rockets’ expertise.
The PI3K/mTOR intracellular signalling pathway is often abnormally activated and has a significant role in cancer formation. The lead candidate bimiralisib is a balanced pan-PI3K/mTOR inhibitor formulated for oral and topical administration. Promising early clinical activity has been demonstrated in multiple phase 1/2 studies allowing further development towards proof-of-concept studies in various oncology and dermatology indications.
Over 10 years, Piqur received funding of CHF 100+ million. Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic explains: “With these assets in our hands, we founded Torqur, which is now in possession of a drug candidate in clinical phase II for different solid tumours with potential to be further developed for various additional indications such as lymphomas, skin cancers and brain tumours.” Torqur also has a pipeline of additional molecules which have already entered initial stages of development and is strengthening its pipeline by investing in the development of next-generation PI3K/mTOR inhibitors to form a robust portfolio of therapeutic areas in oncology and beyond.
Torqur is committed to providing next-generation potent PI3K/mTOR inhibitors for targeted cancer therapies to support patients' quality of life and extended survival. With the company’s know-how, extensive drug development experience, and a broad network of internationally recognized experts and partners, Torqur believes it can deliver the best treatment and most promising outcomes to patients.
About Swiss Rockets AG
Founded in 2018, Swiss Rockets AG is implementing a paradigm shift in healthcare. Patients benefit from new therapies developed with innovative and pioneering methods. The Swiss Rockets AG team combines expertise and experience to create innovative medicines focused on cancer and viral diseases.
The founders of Swiss Rockets AG are Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic, Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic, Manuel Ebner, Dr. Thomas Sander and Dr. Thomas Staehelin. Vladimir Cmiljanovic is the CEO, a medicinal chemist, and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in cancer drug development. He is the founder of the Swiss biotech companies PIQUR AG and TargImmune AG. With his sister Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic, the Chief Scientific Officer of Swiss Rockets AG, he has developed cancer drugs at the University of Basel. He has also founded and managed several biotech companies. Manuel Ebner is a Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Switzerland, and a strategic advisor to Swiss Rockets AG. Dr. Thomas Sander, one of the first employees of Actelion's biotech company, is a scientific advisor to Swiss Rockets AG. Dr. Thomas Staehelin, the co-founder of Swiss Rockets AG, is a member of the Executive Board and Chairman of several shareholder companies and foundations.
Members of the Board of Directors of Swiss Rockets AG are Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic (Chairman), Prof. Dr. Michael N. Hall, a renowned researcher and professor at the Center for Molecular Biosciences at the University of Basel, Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic, a medicinal chemist and clinical scientist with experience in the development of cancer drugs, Dr. Thomas Ladner, a business lawyer, founder and co-founder of several successful start-ups and the World. Minds Foundation, and André Debrunner, a financial expert and fund manager at Northern Trust Switzerland AG and Christoph Brutschin, former Government Council of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and former Chair of the Canton’s Conference for economic affairs.
Torqur is a Swiss clinical-stage biotech company launched in 2021 as a subsidiary of Swiss Rockets, a Basel-based incubator and accelerator of start-up companies in oncology and infectiology. Torqur acquired the assets of Piqur Therapeutics AG, a biotech spin-off company of the University of Basel.
Piqur was co-founded by Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic in 2011 to develop bimiralisib, a potent and balanced pan-PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, discovered by Vladimir and his sister Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic during their Ph.D. studies at the University of Basel.