The Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB) will provide a new investment to help advance ImmunoBiochem’s novel breast cancer therapeutic candidate one step closer to the clinic. The agreement marks a first for CCAB as part of its new business strategy, which aims to attract investment to create successful life sciences companies in Canada. CCAB will develop ImmunoBiochem’s lead candidate towards regulatory filings, and merge their business acumen with its research and technical expertise to support the co-development of new biological therapeutics.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a very exciting period of growth,” says CCAB CEO Robert Verhagen. “The agreement with ImmunoBiochem is a natural extension of an already fruitful partnership and we are looking forward to helping the company get to the next crucial stage in the development of this promising anti-cancer therapy. As CCAB continues to expand its mission in this space, we plan on establishing similar partnerships with other emerging companies in the near future.”
ImmunoBiochem is developing novel potentiated biologics to treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), an aggressive form of breast cancer for which there are currently no targeted biological treatment options. Earlier this quarter, ImmunoBiochem secured an additional private investment to support its pipeline and entered into a license agreement with the University of Toronto for novel therapeutic antibodies.
“ImmunoBiochem’s highest priority is to make new treatment options available for patients with this difficult-to-treat breast cancer. We have made significant progress and have validated our approach in vivo. CCAB has been tremendously supportive of our work and we are excited that this new agreement will help us advance our lead candidate even further,” says ImmunoBiochem’s CEO Dr. Anton Neschadim.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and is the second leading cause of death from cancer. In 2017, 26,300 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,000 women died from the disease. TNBC accounts for up to 20 per cent of breast cancers and is one of the most heterogeneous diseases, comprising multiple breast cancer sub-types. Consequently, even highly promising treatments that are in late stages of the clinical pipeline are likely to only address the needs of a partial number of TNBC patients. ImmunoBiochem has developed therapeutic candidates that aim to close on this gap by overcoming treatment challenges associated with tumor heterogeneity.
Much of biological therapeutics distinguish cancer cells from normal cells based on proteins differentially expressed on their surface. In solid tumours, most such targets are heterogeneously expressed, impeding complete responses and driving resistance and relapses. ImmunoBiochem is focusing instead on selective targets in the tumour microenvironment that are broadly present and interact with all cells in a tumour, including tumour-supporting stroma. ImmunoBiochem has shown that this approach could be more effective and safer than conventional surface-targeted therapeutics.
This agreement between the two companies has the potential to lead to viable therapeutics that are sorely needed, especially for cancers that have a high rate of morbidity and mortality.