Ulrika Warpman Berglund

Affiliated to Research
Visiting address: Scilifelab, Alpha Building Level 4, Tomtebodavägen 23a, 17165 Solna
Postal address: K7 Onkologi-Patologi, K7 Forskning Helleday, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I received my PhD from Uppsala University in 1997 and was headhunted to
    Pharmacia and very soon became head of the Endocrine Research Group. During
    1997-2011 I was working in pharmaceutical companies both in Sweden
    (Pharmacia, Biovitrum) and UK (Prosidion Ltd), were I did translational
    research, developed clinical candidates, and obtained position as Director in
    Pharmacology and member of research steering groups. I joined Helleday lab in
    2012 and has since then assisted Prof. Helleday in establishing the
    translational team that exists today. As responsible for the MTH1 project, I
    have, together with the team, successfully developed Karonudib that is
    presently investigated in clinical trials. I am a member of Dept.
    Oncology-Pathology steering group and deputy group leader in the Helleday


  • Our lab is continuously working towards developing novel targeted therapies
    out of basic science findings. The multidisciplinary translational research
    group is focusing on understanding basic DNA repair and DNA-damage signaling
    pathways as well as nucleotide metabolism and developing novel drugs for
    anti-cancer treatments, and for treating inflammation/autoimmunity and virus
    The research aims are to i) purifying and targeting proteins in *DNA repair
    and metabolism*, ii) use probes and genetic tools to increase basic knowledge
    around target proteins and iii) translating basic research findings into *new
    treatments *tested in clinic.
    One example how we taken an idea from bench to bedside:
    Many DNA damaging anti-cancer drugs cause replication-associated DNA damage
    that kill cancer cells. This is an effective way of treating cancer, but the
    problem is that also normal cells are damaged. Our strategy is to exploit the
    high level of DNA damage and dysfunctional redox status in cancer cells and
    prevent the repair of these lesions and even cause more oxidative lesions in
    the cancer cells. Using DNA repair inhibitors, we can selectively introduce
    toxic DNA damage to cancer cells. We demonstrated how targeting MTH1 can be
    used to target cancer in general without causing toxicity to non-transformed
    cells(Gad et al, Nature 2014
  • Huber et al., Nature 2014) and we have
    developed the MTH1 inhibitor (MTH1i) karonudib (*/Karo/*linska */NUD/*T1
    inh*/ib/*itor) (Warpman Berglund et al., Ann Oncol 2016) and progressed it
    through GMP manufacturing, formulation, GLP safety assessment, IMPD, Medical
    Product Agency and ethical approvals. Presently two clinical Phase 1 trials
    (one in patients with advanced solid malignancies and one in haematological
    cancers) with karonudib are on-going at Karolinska University Hospital.
    Pharmacology and biology are often more complex than originally thought, and
    we continue to deepen our understanding of the mechanism of action of our
    MTH1i and the role of MTH1 in cancer pathology.


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