BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aduro BioTech, Inc. announces the acquisition of all GVAX assets from BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPAX), including intellectual property and cell lines. This acquisition substantially expands Aduro’s immunotherapy portfolio and strengthens its competitive position in the field.
Aduro previously licensed two GVAX vaccines, GVAX Pancreas and GVAX Prostate, for use in combination with its Listeria-based vaccines. This new acquisition covers all uses and includes additional vaccines for multiple myeloma and breast and colon cancer and assumes rights to the existing license agreement for GVAX Melanoma. Under its purchase agreement with BioSante, Aduro paid $1 million upfront and has committed to additional milestone and royalty payments after commercialization of GVAX product(s).
GVAX vaccines are based on human cancer cell lines that are genetically modified to secrete granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), an immune-stimulatory cytokine. “We continue to see promise with GVAX,” said Stephen Isaacs, chairman and chief executive officer of Aduro. “We believe that the broad antigen expression and the secretion of GM-CSF make GVAX an ideal component of combination immunotherapy. We are currently evaluating the sequential administration of GVAX Pancreas and the Listeria-based CRS-207 in a randomized, controlled Phase 2 trial in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer and the data monitoring committee will review the interim data this quarter.”
GVAX is one of three Aduro technology platforms, and all three are interconnected. The live, attenuated Listeria platform has been evaluated in five clinical trials, including in the ongoing Phase 2 trial in combination with GVAX Pancreas. In addition, the company has a new platform based on cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs), which are small molecules secreted by Listeria and other intracellular pathogens that signal through the STING receptor and induce strong immune responses. Aduro is combining CDNs with GVAX into a new vaccine named STINGVAX and has demonstrated superior efficacy over GVAX alone in animal models.
“Combinations are the future of immunotherapy, especially for cancer ” said Dr. Thomas W. Dubensky, Jr., chief scientific officer at Aduro. “In addition to our efforts, other researchers have shown in early-phase pancreatic and prostate cancer clinical trials that the combination of GVAX with the approved immune checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab improves patient outcomes. With the acquisition of GVAX, we have a unique opportunity to advance an entire portfolio of combination treatments.”
About Aduro BioTech, Inc.
Aduro BioTech, Inc. is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company located in Berkeley, California. The company is currently conducting a randomized, controlled Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer and a Phase 1B trial in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The company is also evaluating the synergistic combination of CDNs and GVAX in preclinical tumor models. Moreover, the company’s pipeline also includes preclinical programs in glioblastoma, prostate cancer, melanoma, malaria, HBV and tularemia.