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October 14, 2019
Source: Press Release, Prague (CZ) / Palo Alto (USA)
SOTIO, together with PPF, and MaveriX Oncology, Inc., today announce the investment of PPF Group in MaveriX Oncology Inc., a private biotech company with a proprietary pipeline of targeted, small-molecule cancer chemo-immunotherapeutics. PPF has committed to investing $6.5 million in MaveriX Oncology’s ongoing Series A financing contingent on key development milestones. In total, MaveriX is aiming to secure a total of $20 million in funding and the round will remain open for additional investors to join. The proceeds will enable MaveriX to advance the company’s lead program MVX-5005 through IND-enabling studies, and complete first-in-human Phase Ia/Ib clinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors in support of clinical proof-of-concept. The company will also advance further platform programs to drug candidate selection.
In addition, SOTIO has secured an option to license and co-develop MVX-5005 and related next-generation compounds in Europe, contingent on completion of the first phase I trial. Upon exercise of the option, MaveriX and SOTIO will collaborate and share the costs for development of MVX-5005 and MaveriX will become eligible to receive up to $138 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones if MVX-5005 is successfully developed in multiple cancer indications in Europe. Further terms on the investment and option to license are not disclosed.
MVX-5005 has been designed to selectively kill cancer cells and eradicate immune suppressive cell subsets known to cause resistance to chemotherapy and immunotherapy. MVX-5005 utilizes a proprietary targeting and activation scaffold, a Small-Molecule Drug Conjugate (SMDC) to improve on the clinical safety and efficacy of a DNA damaging agent which exhibits broad anti-tumor activity including immunomodulatory and immunostimulatory properties. Pre-clinical studies have shown that MVX-5005 exhibits broad single agent anti-tumor activity with a favorable safety profile. MVX-5005 is currently in formal IND-enabling studies. MaveriX anticipates initiating a Phase I clinical study by the end of Q4 2020.
Through the investment, MaveriX will also advance several of its innovative pipeline programs based on the SMDC platform conjugated to other established or novel therapeutics.
Dr. Steven Everett, President and CEO of MaveriX Oncology, said: “We are grateful to the PPF Group for leading the Series A round as we advance our lead program MVX-5005 into the clinic and continue to expand our differentiated SMDC platform. The strong support of PPF and SOTIO enables us to achieve our next step of growth as we aim to quickly bring new and improved treatment options to patients that suffer from cancer.”
Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, Physician in Chief and Distinguished Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona, said: “The preclinical data of the lead program of MaveriX is encouraging. Overcoming some of the limitations of current chemotherapy as exemplified by MVX-5005 has great potential across many solid tumors. Together with our experts at TD2, we are very pleased to support development efforts of MaveriX to bring better cancer treatments to patients in need.”
Dr. Radek Špíšek, Chief Executive Officer of SOTIO, said: “We believe that the MaveriX SMDC technology approach enables the selective delivery of potent anti-cancer agents directly to tumors. A depleting effect of MVX-5005 on the immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment represents an additional mechanism of action and indicates that MVX-5005 might act as an efficient chemo-immunotherapy. We are very much looking forward to supporting MaveriX in its efforts to build an innovative oncology company developing first-in-class anticancer agents.”
As part of the agreement, Dr. Norbert Prenzel, Head of Business Development and Licensing of SOTIO, will join the board of directors of MaveriX Oncology Inc.
SMDCs exploit oncogenic and immunogenic targets that are over-expressed to a high frequency within the tumor microenvironment to deliver a broad range of “payloads” selectively to both cancer cells and immunosuppressive cell sub-sets, respectively. SMDC constructs are comprised of three parts, (1) a target-selective “trigger” moiety, (2) a “linker” that spontaneously fragments upon trigger activation, and (3) the payload which is inactive when conjugated into the parent SMDC. SMDCs are designed to be systemically stable, but when an SMDC engages with the target it undergoes a triggered fragmentation of the linker to deliver the active payload selectively to tumors. MaveriX utilizes a proprietary discovery paradigm that has the capability to generate a differentiated platform of SMDCs that are well tolerated with improved anti-tumor activity, can overcome key resistance mechanisms in cancer, and challenge the limitations of current chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
MaveriX Oncology, Inc., is a globally orientated biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of targeted small molecule cancer chemo-immunotherapies. Our technology approach leverages unexploited insights into cancer and immune cell metabolism within the tumor microenvironment which are common to all cancers. Our novel platform is designed to selectively deliver the tumor cell killing benefits of chemotherapy while stimulating a robust immune response to attack a wide range of cancers. Our experienced team is developing a proprietary pipeline of drug candidates with the goal of bringing new and improved treatments to patients suffering from cancer. For more information about the company visit the website www.maverixoncology.com.
PPF Group invests into multiple market segments such as banking and financial services, telecommunications, biotechnology, real estate, retail, insurance and agriculture. The reach of PPF spans from Europe to Russia, the USA and across Asia. The PPF Group owns assets exceeding EUR 45 billion (as of December 2018). For more information about PPF visit www.ppf.eu.