Laura Soucek

Laura Soucek

Vall d'Hebron Institut d'Oncologia

Life & Medical Sciences

Laura Soucek graduated in Biological Sciences at the University La Sapienza, Rome (Italy) in 1996. She was then awarded her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology in 2001. She was a postdoctoral fellow and Assistant Researcher in Dr. Gerard Evan’s laboratory at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF, USA) until 2011. Since then, she has been leading the Models of Cancer Therapies Laboratory at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), in Barcelona, Spain, where she became Director of the Preclinical and Translational Research Program in 2022 and of the Experimental Therapeutics Research Program in 2024. She is ICREA Research Professor and Associate Professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB). Laura is a key opinion leader in Myc inhibition strategies, as well as founder and CEO of Peptomyc S.L., a spin off company that aims at treating cancer with anti-Myc peptides. Peptomyc lead compound, OMO-103, successfully completed a Phase I clinical trial in 2022.

Research interests

Our focus is the Myc oncoprotein, whose deregulation is implicated in almost all human cancer types. We have designed a Myc dominant negative, Omomyc, to investigate the therapeutic benefit of inhibiting Myc in cancer. We demonstrated that Myc inhibition has a remarkable therapeutic index in many mouse models of cancer, while only causing mild and reversible side effects in normal tissues. We also showed that Myc is a safe pharmacological target for many, perhaps all, cancers. Our goal is now to push such a therapeutic approach further towards the clinic. To do so we are making use of a new generation of Myc inhibitory cell-penetrating miniproteins. Our first compound, OMO-103, successfully completed Phase I clinical trial in 2022 and is now in Phase Ib/II in metastatic cancer patients. Research lines in the lab cover different aspects of MYC biology, such as DNA damage, oncogene cooperation and immune modulation.

Selected publications

- Casacuberta-Serra S, Gonzalez-Larreategui I & Soucek L 2023, 'eIF4A dependency: the hidden key to unlock KRAS mutant non-small cell lung cancer’s vulnerability', Transl Lung Cancer Res, 12, 12, 2570-2575.

- Zacarías-Fluck MF, Massó-Vallés D, Giuntini F, González-Larreategui Í, Kaur J, Casacuberta-Serra S, Jauset T, Martínez-Martín S, Martín-Fernández G, Serrano Del Pozo E, Foradada L, Grueso J, Nonell L, Beaulieu ME, Whitfield JR & Soucek L 2023, 'Reducing MYC's transcriptional footprint unveils a good prognostic gene signature in melanoma', Genes & Development, 37, 7-8, 303 - 320.

- Beaulieu ME, Martínez-Martín S, Kaur J, et al. 2023, 'Pharmacokinetic analysis of Omomyc shows lasting structural integrity and long terminal half-life in tumor tissue', Cancers, 15, 826.