Cormorant Pharmaceuticals’ business model is based on the principle of combining new research findings with existing drug substances in order to bring innovation faster to the patient.

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Test tubes

Our Product

Our first product in development is HuMax-IL8,  a medicine that inhibits the effects of interleukin 8 (IL-8), a chemokine that was recently shown to be an important target for cancer stem cells in several cancers, including breast, colorectal and liver cancer. We have a partnership with Genmab for HuMax-IL8 and have recently started a first clinical study in cancer patients.

Read more about cancer stem cells and IL-8 and HuMax-IL8.


Interleukin-8 is a factor that has been shown to be involved in the progression of many cancer forms by stimulating cancer growth, angiogensis and metastais. Recent research has also shown that IL-8 plays an important role in metastasis and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) as well as cancer stem cell renewal. Moreover, IL-8 is involved in tumor immunosuppression and pre-clinical data showed that inhibition of IL-8 signaling acts synergistically with PD-1 inhibition.

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Present day

Cancer treatment outcomes have improved substantially over the last decades, but many forms of cancer are still incurable if detected too late. There is a large medical need for improved therapies for those patients. Targeting cancer stem cells holds up the potential to improve on current treatment outcomes by reducing the risk of treatment failure and recurrence of the disease.

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Our solution

With our first Product in development, HuMax-IL8, we are targeting cancer spread and cancer stem cells. HuMax-IL8 is a fully human antibody targeting interleukin-8. The antibody binds IL-8 with high affinity and specificity and has been through pre-clinical dvelopment as well as a phase I/II trial in patients.

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Our vision

Our vision for HuMax-IL8 is that the inhibition of IL-8 will target the aggressive behaviour of cancer cells and cancer stem cells in several cancer forms. This will then increase the efficacy of existing cancer therapies as well as reduce the resistance to them. This will in turn lead to better disease control and fewer recurrencies.

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Recent stories


Press release: Decision Taken to Escalate to the Next Dose Level in a Clinical Trial With HuMax-IL8 in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors Ongoing at the NCI

HuMax-IL8: A First in Class Immuno-Oncology Drug With the Potential to Inhibit Tumor Immunosuppression as Well as Cancer Stem Cells and Metastasis. STOCKHOLM, October 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —Cormorant Pharmaceuticals in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, MD has started enrollment of patients into a phase Ib clinical trial of HuMax-IL8. HuMax-IL8 is a monoclonal […]

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Leukemia stem cells might be targeted by IL-8 inhibition

A new paper in the journal Blood indicates that lekemia stem cells in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) could be targeted by IL8-CXCR2 inhibition. Despite use of different chemtherapeutic agents and newer targeted agents, outcomes for patients remain poor. The disease course often leads to relapse or failure to achieve durable remission, […]

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