Biosceptre Closes AUD5m Financing from Existing Investors
Funds to progress Phase I development of oncology product BIL-221s
CAMBRIDGE, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biosceptre International Limited, the oncology company developing antibody products that target the nf-P2X7 receptor, today announced that it has raised AU$5m through a syndicate of existing investors. The funds raised will enable the Company to progress the lead systemic programme, BIL-221s through Phase I development.
“This latest financing shows the ongoing support Biosceptre has from its highly committed investors. The funds are central to the development of BIL-221s, a key asset in our internal product development portfolio”
This latest investment will start a 20 patient, multicentre, safety and efficacy, dose-escalation, Phase I study of BIL-221s. The primary endpoint of the study will be safety, however Biosceptre expects to also obtain preliminary data on pharmacokinetics and efficacy. The Company plans to start the trial in Q4 2014.
BIL-221s is a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets nf-P2X7, a non-functional form of P2X7, (a transmembrane ion channel receptor expressed on cell surfaces of many tumours). Targeting nf-P2X7 has the potential to treat a wide range of cancers.
“This latest financing shows the ongoing support Biosceptre has from its highly committed investors. The funds are central to the development of BIL-221s, a key asset in our internal product development portfolio,” said Gavin Currie, CEO of Biosceptre. “The Company strategy is to focus on the development of an internal pipeline of both topical and systemic antibody products in the therapeutics space. Concurrently, we have an external pipeline of cancer vaccines in development, through a series of collaborations. We are also seeking out-licensing agreements to develop cancer diagnostics and imaging technologies that take advantage of our proprietary position with nf-P2X7.”
Notes to Editors
About Biosceptre www.biosceptre.com
Biosceptre has identified a pan-cancer target, present in many cancer types, and importantly not found in healthy tissue. Early research and initial evidence suggest that drugs directed at the nf-P2X7 target have the potential to redefine cancer therapy. The Company has raised AUD33m and will be raising further capital through both existing and new investors. Biosceptre has a rigorous, international patent portfolio extending to 2032, providing broad protection of the target and specific protection of antibody products. The Company is developing therapeutics and diagnostics to bind nf-P2X7, with the core of product development in topical and systemic cancer drugs. Biosceptreis also developing an immuno-oncology vaccine, through an existing collaboration, and is in discussions with developmental partners to develop diagnostic and imaging technologies to detect and monitor cancer. Biosceptre is supported by a world-class scientific advisory board, the members of which have been central in the development of numerous, highly successful, biotechnology companies and products. The Company has the team, capital, and plan to create substantial value from this unique, patent-protected, technology. The business is headquartered in Cambridge, UK with additional research facilities in Sydney, Australia.
Most cells in the body utilise the mechanism of apoptosis (programmed cell death) to self-destruct when functionality is lost, genetic errors occur, or simply with age. Alterations in the mechanisms associated with cell death, including apoptosis, are associated with the development of cancer. The P2X7 receptor, known as a purinergic receptor because it is activated by ATP, is a key receptor involved in cell death mechanisms and functions such as proliferation and migration. Alterations in this receptor and its function are believed to be involved in the formation and maintenance of a variety of different types of cancers.
Biosceptre’s technology is centered on P2X7, specifically nf-P2X7, a form of the receptor in which a critical function, the formation of a large transmembrane pore on prolonged activation, has been lost. This loss in function is important in mediating key aspects of the receptors involvement in the transition of cells to a cancerous state.
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