Symphogen Press Release:
Copenhagen, Denmark – 22 October, 2015 – Symphogen, a private biopharmaceutical company developing recombinant antibody mixtures, announced today the closing of a EUR 67.5 million convertible debt facility, secured from existing investors, led by Novo A/S and the Danish pension fund PKA. The proceeds will be used to progress the company’s pipeline, specifically Sym004, a novel antibody mixture and its lead clinical program currently in a multi-center Phase 2b study in metastatic colorectal cancer patients with disease resistance or refractory to anti-EGFR antibody therapies. In addition, funds are earmarked to advance to the clinic both of the company’s other fully owned assets, the pan-HER product candidate, Sym013, a mixture of six antibodies targeting each of EGFR, HER2 and HER3 and its MET product candidate, Sym015, a mixture of two antibodies targeting the MET receptor for treatment of patients with MET-amplified tumors. Symphogen is also deploying its proprietary mAb mix approach to its immuno-oncology research programs.
The closing of the convertible loan facility brings Symphogen’s total pro-forma cash resources to a total of EUR 110 million.
Aleks Engel, Asset Director at Novo A/S and member of the Board of Directors at Symphogen, noted: “This financing once again underscores the strong support of our syndicate of investors. We are enthusiastic about the opportunities in each of the three main programs, and with these additional resources, we believe that Symphogen has a stronger foundation upon which to build both a proprietary and partnered oncology pipeline of antibody mixtures. In addition, we are confident that Symphogen’s unique approach to creating mAb Mixtures may yield other highly effective products for patients and caregivers.”
Sym004 is comprised of two antibodies that are not only designed to block ligand induced receptor activation and downstream signaling but are also thought to elicit removal of the EGFR receptors from the cancer cell surface by inducing EGFR internalization and degradation. Positive efficacy clinical findings for Sym004’s study in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and with acquired resistance to anti-EGFR antibody was reported in the June 2015 issue of Cancer Discovery (Cancer Discovery; 5(6)). Currently Sym004 is being studied in a Phase 2b study in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and additional trials are in the late planning stage. A Phase 1 study expansion in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma conducted in Japan has completed patient enrollment.
Sym013 or Pan-HER is an advanced product in Symphogen’s pre-clinical oncology pipeline. Pan-HER is a mixture of six humanized full length monoclonal antibodies targeting EGFR, HER2 and HER3, all validated targets for cancer treatment, that effectively induces simultaneous down-modulation of all three targets and prevents compensatory receptor up-regulation. In Symphogen’s research, simultaneous targeting of three receptors has been shown to provide broader efficacy than targeting of a single receptor or any combination of two receptors in the HER family. Symphogen reported in Clinical Cancer Research, April 2015, preclinical findings from the company’s Pan-HER program showing that Pan-HER overcomes primary and acquired resistance due to HER family expression heterogeneity and plasticity.
Sym015 is the most advanced preclinical oncology project in the pipeline. The Sym015 drug lead is a mixture of two humanized antibodies directed against MET, the receptor for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Dysregulation of the MET/HGF pathway in solid tumors is often associated with a poor clinical outcome and may also confer resistance to targeted therapeutics, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Pre-clinical data demonstrates effective down-modulation of the target and a strong in vivo efficacy of Sym015 in MET amplified/driven models of human cancer.
About Symphogen A/S
Symphogen is developing next-generation antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and is dedicated to bringing truly innovative oncology products to the market. The company has advanced the frontier of antibody discovery by creating well-characterized antibody mixtures that address multiple oncology targets in a single drug product. The company has matured its pipeline, currently has two product candidates in the clinic, and is researching promising novel immuno-oncology opportunities.“
The company’s productive technology suite – capable of identifying, selecting and manufacturing optimal antibody mixtures – fuels Symphogen’s innovative pipeline.