BioInvent and Transgene Extend Their Collaboration to Develop Multifunctional Oncolytic Viruses for the Treatment of Solid Tumors
LUND, Sweden and STRASBOURG, France, March 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- BioInvent International AB (OMXS: BINV), a biotech company focused on the discovery and development of novel immuno-regulatory antibodies to treat cancer and Transgene (Euronext Paris: TNG), a biotech company that designs and develops virus-based immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumors, announce the extension of their collaboration to co-develop multi-functional oncolytic viruses (OV) encoding for undisclosed antibodies sequences capable of treating a broad range of solid tumors.
Under the terms of the extension agreement, Transgene will contribute its industry-leading OV design and engineering expertise, some non-antibody transgenes, as well as its proprietary engineered vaccinia virus (TK-, RR-) backbone, which forms the basis of its Invir.IO platform. BioInvent will provide its cancer biology and antibody expertise to the collaboration as well as one or more antibodies sequences, generated through its proprietary n-CoDeR/F.I.R.S.T. platforms. Certain sequences for an undisclosed target will be selected for encoding within Transgene's Invir.IO backbone to create a multi-functional OV.
In November 2018, Transgene and BioInvent presented positive data from their initial collaboration at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). These initial data covered the collaboration's work on an anti-CTLA-4 antibody-armed oncolytic vaccinia virus, based on Transgene's proprietary vaccinia virus (TK-, RR-) backbone. This enhanced oncolytic vaccinia virus demonstrated its ability to ensure the expression of BioInvent's anti-CTLA-4 antibody in the tumor with low systemic exposure. It also showed improved efficacy and a better safety profile when compared to the combination of the antibody and the non-armed corresponding oncolytic virus given individually in pre-clinical models.
Consistent with the initial collaboration, research and development costs as well as revenues and royalties from the multifunctional OVs generated as a result of the new collaboration will be shared 50:50.
Encoding BioInvent's antibodies sequences in Transgene's proprietary Invir.IO platform, for a direct expression into the tumor, promises to optimize the efficacy and tolerability of these antibodies. Both Transgene and BioInvent believe that these novel multifunctional OVs could be significantly more effective than co-administering an OV and an antibody together.
Commenting on the agreement, Martin Welschof, CEO of BioInvent, said: "The extension of our collaboration with Transgene opens up further opportunities for both companies to combine their expertise and knowledge to develop antibody oncolytic virus combinations capable of treating a broad range of solid tumors. By leveraging BioInvent's unique and proprietary n-CoDeR/F.I.R.S.T. platforms, we will be able to develop a number of novel first-in-class antibodies that could be delivered directly into the tumor via Transgene's vaccinia viral backbone, potentially enhancing their efficacy and improving their side effect profile."
Philippe Archinard, PhD, Chairman and CEO of Transgene, said: "We are pleased to extend the scope of our highly productive collaboration with BioInvent. We believe that the next generation of multi-functional oncolytic viruses expressing BioInvent's highly targeted immune modulators directly in the tumor micro-environment will deliver much improved overall survival outcomes in patients with solid tumors. This agreement further expands Transgene's broad portfolio of oncolytic viruses in development, the first of which is expected to enter the clinic in 2020."
BioInvent International AB (OMXS: BINV) is focused on the discovery and development of novel and first-in-class immuno-modulatory antibodies to treat cancer. The Company's lead program BI-1206, is currently in Phase l/ll for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphatic leukemia. BioInvent's pre-clinical portfolio is focused on targeting key immune suppressive cells and pathways of the tumor microenvironment, including regulatory T cells, tumor-associated myeloid cells and mechanisms of antibody drug-resistance. The Company has a strategic research collaboration with Pfizer Inc., and partnerships with Transgene, Bayer Pharma, Daiichi Sankyo, and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma. BioInvent generates near term revenues from its fully integrated manufacturing unit producing antibodies for third parties for research through to late-stage clinical trials. More information is available at www.bioinvent.com.
Transgene (Euronext: TNG) is a publicly traded French biotechnology company focused on designing and developing targeted immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Transgene's programs utilize viral vector technology with the goal of indirectly or directly killing infected or cancerous cells. The Company's lead clinical-stage programs are: TG4010, a therapeutic vaccine against non-small cell lung cancer, Pexa-Vec, an oncolytic virus against liver cancer, and TG4001, a therapeutic vaccine against HPV-positive head and neck cancers. The Company has several other programs in clinical development, including TG1050 (a therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B) and TG6002 (an oncolytic virus for the treatment of solid tumors).