CCAB Partners With ImmunoBiochem as it Launches New Co-Development Strategy to Advance Early-Stage Biotech Companies
The Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB) and ImmunoBiochem Corporation have announced an agreement that will see CCAB 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. The initiative merges CCAB’s business acumen with its research and technical expertise to support the co-development of new biological therapeutics and build viable companies around these products.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a very exciting period of growth,” CCAB CEO Robert Verhagen said. “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,” said 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% of breast cancers and is one of the most heterogeneous diseases, comprising multiple breast cancer sub-types. As a consequence, even highly promising treatments that are in late stages of the clinical pipeline, if approved, are likely to only address the needs of a limited number of TNBC patients. ImmunoBiochem has developed therapeutic candidates that aim to close on this gap by overcoming treatment challenges associated with tumor heterogeneity.
The majority of biological therapeutics distinguish cancer cells from normal cells based on proteins differentially expressed on their surface. In solid tumors, most such targets are heterogeneously expressed, precluding complete responses and driving resistance and relapses. ImmunoBiochem is focusing instead on selective targets in the tumor microenvironment that are broadly present and interact with all cells in a tumor, including tumor-supporting stroma. ImmunoBiochem has shown that this approach could be more effective and safer than conventional surface-targeted therapeutics.
CCAB’s announcement is the latest in support of ImmunoBiochem. Late last year, the company announced a new round of financing led by angel investors and an expansion of its operations to Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS in Toronto. ImmunoBiochem is also supported by the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO) and the Health Innovation Hub (H2i) at the University of Toronto.
In addition to product co-development, CCAB will provide program management for ImmunoBiochem. The goal of the agreement is to develop ImmunoBiochem’s lead candidate towards regulatory filings.
The Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB) is a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research located in Toronto, Canada. CCAB supports innovators and emerging life sciences companies through its expertise in product and business development to advance therapeutic candidates and technologies that will form the basis for company growth and sustainability. To learn more, visit ccabcanada.com.
ImmunoBiochem is a privately held biopharmaceutical company based in JLABS @ Toronto, located at the MaRS Discovery District, in the heart of Canada’s largest biomedical hub and a vibrant, growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. ImmunoBiochem has identified a class of molecular targets that are selectively amplified in the secretome of cancer cells and accumulate in the tumor microenvironment. These cancer targets possess unique trafficking properties enabling the highly-selective delivery of toxic payloads directly into cancer cells with engineered antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, while leaving normal cells unharmed.
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