In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was fought between the Greeks and Trojans. After 10 years of conflict, the Greeks implemented a strategy based on a hollow wooden horse, the Trojan horse, to enter Troy and win the war from within. According to Norse myths, while the city of Troy was completely devastated, thousands of Trojans left immediately after the war and moved north across Europe. When they arrived to the Baltic Sea in Scandinavia, they built Asgard, a fortified city resembling Troy and described as “Troy in the north”, the city of Gods.
In 2015, researchers at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, started working on a direct cell reprogramming approach to set in motion immune responses based on the unique properties of Dendritic Cells. While reprogramming approaches had been mainly restricted to regenerative medicine, this conceptual shift opens exciting opportunities to merge the fields of cell reprogramming and cancer immunotherapy.
In 2017, the same team of scientists, just like the Trojans, crossed Europe and moved to Lund University where they established Asgard Therapeutics AB to explore and develop the TrojanDC concept and its applications in cancer immunotherapy.