(February 2, 2018) - Forbius, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it was awarded a competitive BioCanRx grant entitled “Advanced preclinical development of AVID200: Preparing for immunotherapy clinical trials”. Total project value is $1,655,297, with BioCanRx contributing $675,000.
The project funds IND-enabling activities of AVID200 as part of the BioCanRx Enabling Studies Program. BioCanRx provides funding to support the transition of therapeutics from preclinical stage into clinical trials. Successful Enabling Studies Program projects are expected to progress into BioCanRx’s Clinical Trials Program which funds Phase I/II clinical trials.
AVID200 selectively blocks TGF-β1 and -β3 ligands with pM potency. TGF-β’s are a family of secreted ligands that play key roles in fibrosis and resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Of the three TGF-β isoforms found in humans, TGF-β1 and -β3 are strongly implicated in several disorders with blockade of these ligands resulting in reversal of these diseases. In contrast, inhibition of TGF-β2 is undesirable, since neutralization of TGF-β2 is associated with promotion of cancer metastasis, negative effects on hematopoiesis and cardiac toxicity.
Applying its TGF-β structure-activity expertise and through using a novel protein-engineering approach, Forbius has developed AVID200, which is significantly more active against TGF-β1 and -β3 compared to TGF-β2. AVID200 blocks TGF-β1 and -β3 with low pM potency, which enables efficient trapping and removal of these ligands in vivo. AVID200 is undergoing IND-enabling development for use in fibrotic diseases and cancer immunotherapy with clinical studies planned for 2018.
BioCanRx is a network of scientists, clinicians, cancer stakeholders, academic institutions, NGOs and industry partners working together to accelerate the development of leading edge immune oncology therapies for the benefit of patients.
BioCanRx’s research programs support projects to transform lab ideas into clinical Phase I products. This means that projects can enter or exit the pipeline at different stages including pre-clinical models and testing, proof of concept, dose and toxicology studies and data collection. This also includes support for Phase I/II clinical trials.
BioCanRx is becoming a world-leader in the translation, manufacture and adoption of cancer immunotherapies. Through an innovative, collaborative research funding process, BioCanRx invests in translating Canadian technologies from the lab into early phase clinical trials, and addresses socio-economic considerations necessary for their adoption by health-care systems. The network is committed to training and developing the talent needed for a thriving health biotechnology sector in Canada. BioCanRx receives funding from the federal government’s Networks of Centres of Excellence, and support from industry, the provinces and charities.
Forbius is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company that engineers novel biotherapeutics. Our mission is to transform the lives of patients affected by life-threatening diseases. Based on a deep understanding of the biology of rare diseases, including molecularly-defined cancers, heritable disorders and pediatric diseases, Forbius identifies therapeutic targets that are central to the disease process. Subsequently, our scientists apply advanced protein engineering methods to design biotherapeutics that are positioned to become the new standard of care.