Race Oncology has entered into a joint venture with TargImmune Therapuetics to focus on development new and improved cancer therapies.
Race Immunotherapeutics will base these therapies by combining Bisantrene with TargImmune’s targeted cancer therapy technology.
The joint venture will be a 50:50 partnership between both parties, and all new intellectual property created by RITX will be equally co-owned by the parties through their ownership of the joint venture.
RITX will be independently funded and operations of the joint venture will commence once funding is in place and formal agreements executed.
All core development work will be conducted by TargImmune scientists in Basel, under the guidance of a steering committee that includes Race scientific staff.
Race will provide scientific support and Bisantrene drug product, but no direct funding to the Joint Venture.
The TargImmune technology platform, which was in-licensed from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, encompasses a proprietary non-viral vector to target receptors that are overexpressed on cancer cells, such as those found in breast cancer and several other important cancers.
Once at the target cell, the vector delivers an immune-modulating agent (poly-IC or pIC) into the cell, which then triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death) and an immune response against the cancer.
The overall targeting technology is known as CTPIC (Cancer Targeted delivery of pIC).
TargImmune believes that therapeutic synergies can be achieved by combining CTPIC with a broad-spectrum chemotherapy. Because of its greatly reduced cardiotoxicity and mode of action, Bisantrene represents the ideal chemotherapy to combine with the TargImmune CTPIC platform. In turn, the anti-cancer effects of Bisantrene could be greatly enhanced by combination with CTPIC.
The initial focus of the Joint Venture will be to develop combinations of Bisantrene with CTPIC aimed at EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor), an important target in breast and other cancers.
This opens up therapeutic opportunities in breast cancer, as well as non-small-cell lung (NSCL) cancer and head & neck cancers. Beyond EGFR, the Joint Venture will explore combinations of Bisantrene with CTPIC targeted at other cancer targets, including PSMA (a prostate cancer marker).