Isofol Medical

A clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing Modufolin® clinical stage
pharmaceutical company developing Modufolin®

About Isofol Medical


Isofol Medical is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing novel products to improve the efficacy and side effects of antimetabolite treatments within oncology. All current folate-based therapies used in cancer treatment are prodrugs that need multiple activation steps to exert their mechanism of actions. Together with Merck & Cie, an affiliate of Merck KGaA and the world’s leading supplier of reduced folates such as Metafolin® and Leucovorin – Isofol has identified the need for Modufolin®, the active metabolite of all clinically used folate-based therapies.


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Company History

World leaders in folate development

In 1978 Bengt Gustavsson co-discovered that the folate-based therapy leucovorin (LV) could significantly increase the efficacy of the cytotoxic antimetabolite fluorouracil 5-FU. This discovery subsequently led to the widely used 5-FU/LV combination in various regimens that is now a gold standard in the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Professor Gustavsson hypothesised that the reason only a minority of patients responded to treatment with leucovorin was due to their ability to metabolically activate leucovorin. A collaboration with researchers at Merck & Cie to synthesize the active metabolite of leucovorin resulted in a stable racemic form of MTHF.

After a rigorous research and development process, in 2005, Merck & Cie finally managed to do what had previously been considered impossible; to synthesize a stable, non-racemic form of MTHF. This novel pharmaceutical substance was named Modufolin®. This made it possible to initiate the work to test Prof Gustavsson’s original hypothesis that the 5-FU/Modufolin® combination could be significantly more effective than the 5-FU/LV combination that is the standard treatment today.  To date, Modufolin® has been shown to be safe after treating numerous patients and Isofol is to commence the ISO-CC-006 study to prove the efficacy of Modufolin® in colorectal cancer patients. 
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