RESOURCES TO PDT/PCI RELATED RESEARCH

Radforsk will distribute resources to photodynamic therapy and photochemical internalization (PDT/PCI) related research. In 2019 one project will be chosen to receive a larger project grant.

Employees at the Oslo University Hospital are welcome to apply. If you have received resources from previous PDT/PCI projects, you must provide a project report with your new application.

The closing date for applications is February 15th, 2019.

Guidelines for resources to PDT/PCI related research

Applications, containing a description of the project, can be sent to:

Radforsk, att. Bente Prestegård, Ullernchausséen 64, 0379 Oslo, Norway.

E-mail: bp@radforsk.no

Our portfolio company OncoImmunity receives €2.2 million

OncoImmunity receives €2.2 million to roll out its machine-learning platform to enable the development of personalized cancer immunotherapies.

The bioinformatics company OncoImmunity has been awarded the prestigious EU SME Instrument funding. The company’s flagship product, the ImmuneProfiler™, is a unique machine learning solution that has made inroads into solving the neoantigen prediction challenge. OncoImmunity enables their partners to solve the “needle in the haystack” challenge of identifying the right cocktail of neoantigens for each individual patient, and design a vaccine or cell therapy uniquely tailored to their specific tumor.

The machine learning company is based in both Oslo Norway and Cambridge Massachusetts in the USA, and this funding will advance further its capability to tailor the ImmuneProfiler™ for specific vaccine platforms, facilitating the design of safer and more efficacious personalised cancer vaccines.

“This project matches our ambition to position OncoImmunity as the leading supplier of neoantigen identification software in the personalized cancer vaccine market,” says Dr. Richard Stratford, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of OncoImmunity.

– The ImmuneProfiler™ is already a powerful antigen presentation prediction tool, with demonstrated utility in predicting antigens that are presented and visible to a patient’s T cells. With these funds OncoImmunity will further advance its generic platform to learn the precise constellation of potential neoantigens that are immunogenic in different vaccine delivery systems, says Dr. Trevor Clancy, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of OncoImmunity.

About OncoImmunity:

OncoImmunity is a machine-learning company offering a proprietary technology to address the key knowledge gaps in the prediction of bone fide immunogenic neoantigens for personalized cancer immunotherapy. OncoImmunity’s software facilitates effective patient selection for cancer immunotherapy, and identifies optimal neoantigen targets for truly personalized cancer vaccines & cell therapies in a clinically actionable time-frame.

www.oncoimmunity.com

Source: OncoImmunity

Nordic Nanovector receives Promising Innovative Medicine Designation

Our portfolio company Nordic Nanovector receives Promising Innovative Medicine Designation in the UK for the Treatment of Follicular Lymphoma with their lead product Betalutin®.

Lisa Rojkjaer MD, Nordic Nanovector Chief Medical Officer, commented:

“We are delighted by the MHRA’s decision to award PIM designation to Betalutin®. This acknowledges the high unmet medical need of this patient population as well as the potential of Betalutin® to offer therapeutic benefits to FL patients. Both the PIM and Fast Track designations (granted by the FDA in June) are very encouraging, as they provide opportunities for enhanced dialogue with health authorities and the potential to bring Betalutin® to patients more quickly.”

PIM designation constitutes Step 1 of the UK Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS). EAMS aims to give patients in the UK early access to medicines that do not yet have a marketing authorisation but meet a medical need that is currently not being met. PIM designation means that a medicinal product is a promising candidate for the EAMS, for the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of life-threatening or seriously debilitating conditions with an unmet need.

Source: Nordic Nanovector

Om Vaccibody i NRK EKKO

NRK EKKO, NRK sitt aktuelle samfunnsmagasin på radio, har laget et eget innslag om den persontilpassede kreftvaksinen som vår porteføljebedrift Vaccibody utvikler.

Targovax: Reports full data set on clinical trial of cancer vaccine TG01

Our portfolio company Targovax reports encouraging disease-free survival (DFS) data from TG01 trial in resected pancreatic cancer:

  • 16.1 months median DFS with TG01 and gemcitabine combination for all 32 patients in the trial
  • 19.5 months DFS in 2nd cohort who received an optimized dosing regimen
  • 94% of patients had mutant RAS specific adaptive immune activation

The results are based on the full data set from the 32-patient phase I/II clinical trial evaluating TG01 in resected pancreatic cancer in combination with standard of care chemotherapy, gemcitabine.

Dr. Magnus Jäderberg, CMO of Targovax, said:

“We have previously reported strong immune activation and signal of efficacy for TG01 in resected pancreatic cancer. The median DFS data now presented further strengthens our confidence that TG01 provides a clinically meaningful benefit for this patient population, especially when in the context of historical controls. The DFS benefit appears to be more pronounced in the second cohort, which indicates that the post-chemo vaccination schedule is an optimal dosing regimen that we should select in subsequent development. It is also worth noting that median overall survival has not yet been reached in the second patient cohort, and we will continue to track how these patients perform with great interest”.

Vaccibody: First 10 patients enrolled and vaccination started

Our portfolio company Vaccibody has released an update on the clinical trial of their neoantigen cancer vaccine in phase I/II: 10 patients have been enrolled and vaccination has started.

Mads Axelsen, MD, Chief Medical Officer in Vaccibody, said in a press release:

We are very pleased with the enrollment in the neoantigen trial and with the interest we are experiencing from clinical investigator and from patients. To that end I would like to thank the experienced cancer experts and investigators in this trial namely Prof. Jürgen Krauss from Heidelberg, Prof. Angela Krackhardt from Munich and Prof. Elke Jäger from Frankfurt. Together with their dedicated teams they are doing an outstanding job with the neoantigen trial.”

 

Read more on Vaccibody´s home page.

Targovax: Encouraging interim results of ONCOS-102

Our portfolio company Targovax has released interim results from the phase I trial of ONCOS-102 in checkpoint inhibitor refractory melanoma.

Dr. Magnus Jäderberg, CMO of Targovax, said in a press release from the company:

“Given the limited number of patients who have completed the study to date, it is encouraging to already see a complete response to ONCOS-102 primed KEYTRUDA® treatment in this CPI refractory patient population. This case is particularly interesting, as the patient became refractory to KEYTRUDA® before entering our trial. At the same time, five patients progressed, which we believe may be partly due to an insufficient number of ONCOS-102 injections. Consequently, we have agreed with the investigators to expand the trial with additional patients, who will receive an increased number of ONCOS-102 injections. The complete response, combined with the optimized dosing regimen, makes us optimistic that we may demonstrate the full potential of ONCOS-102 in the checkpoint inhibitor refractory setting.”

Read more on the Targovax´web site.

Vaccibody in collaboration with prestige company Nektar Therapeutics

Our portolio company Vaccibody AS just entered a clinical collaboration with U.S. company Nektar Therapeutics.

The aim of the collaboration is to evaluate Vaccibody’s personalized cancer neoantigen vaccine, VB10.NEO, in combination with Nektar’s immune treatment NKTR-214, which is a CD-122-biased agonist.

In an interview with Norwegian financial paper “Finansavisen”, President and CSO  in Vaccibody, Agnete Brunsvik Fredriksen, states that the agreement means a lot to Vaccibody, since Nektar Therapeutics is among the hottest immunotherapy companies around.

Nektar Therapeutics is registered on Nasdaq and has a market cap of $10 billion. In February 2018 Nektar entered a collaborative deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb to furter develop NKTR-214 .

Jonathan Zalevsky, CSO of Nektar Therapeutics, said:

Vaccibody technology holds the potential of combining a personalized cancer vaccine approach which is designed to drive antigen presentation with NKTR-214, which can drive specific clonal T cell expansion to vaccine epitopes. We look forward to working with Vaccibody to seek the advancement of this unique combination into the clinic.

Positive preclinical  results

VB10.NEO is designed to specifically activate the patient’s immune system to tumour specific antigens, called neoantigens. NKTR-214 is designed to lead to further stimulation and proliferation of the immune cells. Preclinical results indicate a synergistic effect of VB10.NEO and NKTR-214 resulting in enhanced neoantigen-specific T cell responses. The clinical evaluation will take place in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The first stage of the clinical trial will be a pilot study which will enroll 10 patients.

Nektar and Vaccibody each will maintain ownership of their own compounds in the clinical collaboration, and the two companies will jointly own clinical data that relate to the combination of VB10.NEO and NKTR-214. Under the terms of the agreement and following the completion of the pilot study, the two companies will evaluate next steps for development of the combination regimen.

Martin Bonde, CEO of Vaccibody, commented:

We are very pleased to be joining forces with Nektar Therapeutics in this new clinical research collaboration. The preclinical in-vivo studies of NKTR-214 in combination with Vaccibody’s neoantigen vaccines generated very promising results. We look forward to further evaluate the Vaccibody neoantigen vaccine in combination with NKTR-214 in the clinic. The combination is designed to improve clinical outcome in patients that need additional help to elicit a strong, neoantigen-focused immune response and thus such combination may broaden the patient population benefitting from either therapy alone.

Facts:

About VB10.NEO

VB10.16, is a Vaccibody proprietary therapeutic DNA vaccine which uses private neoantigens for the personalized treatment of cancer patients. A phase I/IIa neoantigen clinical trial is currently enrolling patients with locally advanced or metastatic melanoma, non-small cell lung carcinoma, clear renal cell carcinoma as well as urothelial or squamous cell carcinoma off head and neck.

About Vaccibody AS

Vaccibody is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel immunotherapies. The company is a leader in the rapidly developing field of individualized cancer neoantigen vaccines and is using the Vaccibody technology to generate best-in-class therapeutics to treat cancers with a high unmet medical need. A phase I/IIa neoantigen clinical trial is now enrolling patients with locally advanced or metastatic melanoma, non-small cell lung carcinoma, clear renal cell carcinoma as well as urothelial or squamous cell carcinoma off head and neck. Vaccibody’s front runner program (VB10.16) is a therapeutic DNA vaccine against HPV16 induced pre-malignancies and malignancies. The first-in-human study (phase I/IIa), which is now fully enrolled, evaluates the safety and immunogenicity of VB10.16 in women with high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL; CIN 2/3).

www.vaccibody.com

Source: Vaccibody and Finansavisen

New CEO in Photocure

Our portfolio company Photocure ASA has appointed Daniel Schneider as Chief Exceutive Officer and President. 

Mr Schneider joins Photocure from the position of General Manager for Ablynx N.V. in North America.

Mr Schneider will commence the position upon further agreement, expected prior to 1 November 2018. Erik Dahl will continue to serve as the acting Chief Executive Officer until Mr Schneider’s commencement of his position, after which Mr Dahl will resume his previous role as the Chief Financial Officer of Photocure.

“The Photocure team has built a unique company within the field of bladder cancer, with excellent people, world leading technology and high-potential products. The company has developed a solid infrastructure in key regions, especially in the U.S. We will continue to scale and leverage on this growth platform to deliver on the commercial opportunities in the bladder cancer markets. I look forward to work with the team to expand the commercial footprint and to embark on the growth journey for Photocure”, says Mr Schneider.

Accelerated growth in the U.S market
“I am pleased to announce Dan Schneider as our new President and Chief Executive Officer. Photocure is entering a period of accelerated growth in the important U.S. market with strengthened focus on commercial development. Dan brings over 25 years of experience in developing and expanding rapidly growing healthcare companies in the U.S. He will further leverage on the opportunities arising from Photocure’s unique position in the bladder cancer market. I look forward working with Dan to develop Photocure into becoming the leading bladder cancer company”, says Jan H. Egberts, M.D. Chairman of the Board.

Mr Schneider follows Kjetil Hestdal as CEO, whom stepped down July 1st after being part of the company in over two decades.

“As Photocure is entering a phase with vast growth opportunities and an ambition to expand the global commercial footprint, the timing is right to inform all stakeholders that I will not lead Photocure in the company’s next era. I am proud of having been part of a company that has helped tens of thousands of bladder cancer patients in fighting their disease. Photocure is a great company with excellent people, world leading technology and products, and is perfectly positioned to be a true industry leader within the field of bladder cancer”, says Kjetil Hestdal.

Listen to our interview with Kjetil Hestdal in our podcast Radium.

About Photocure ASA
Photocure, The Bladder Cancer Company, delivers transformative solutions to improve the lives of bladder cancer patients. Our unique technology, which makes cancer cells glow bright pink, has led to better health outcomes for patients worldwide. Photocure is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: PHO). The US headquarters for Photocure Inc., are in Princeton, New Jersey.

For more information, please visit us at www.photocure.com, www.hexvix.com or www.cysview.com

Source: Photocure