receive $100 million for protein technology
Acrivon will receive $100 million for protein technology that could give patients choice in cancer drugs
Eli Lilly’s stalled cancer drug prexasertib is getting another hit at Acrivon Therapeutics, whose IPO will fund several new mid-stage clinical trials. Focusing on Eli Lilly’s legacy, Acrivon’s technology platform, which relies on proteomics rather than genomics to identify patients eligible for targeted therapies, is also at risk.
For targeted cancer therapy, drug targeting is not enough. It is important to select the right patient for a particular treatment. Scientists at Acrivon Therapeutics say this approach has many advantages over selecting patients based on genes. Acrivon’s technology is entering its first human trials using a drug from a major pharmaceutical company. The IPO market is cold as the weather, but Acrivon has still found a way to raise nearly $100 million for its clinical trial program.
Acrivon is close to hitting its nine-figure IPO goal, but will have to lower its share price and sell more shares to get there. Last week, the biotech company offered more than it originally planned for its IPO earlier this month, intending to sell 5.9 million shares for $16 to $18.
Acrivon is headquartered in Watertown, Mass. can reach the $100 million mark by closing a separate parallel transaction. Prior to the IPO, the company’s largest shareholder, Chione Limited, purchased 400,000 shares at the IPO price and the prospectus was updated.
The science behind Acrivon’s technology stems from the research of founder and CEO Peter Blum-Jensen, whose pharmaceutical industry experience includes senior roles at EMD Serono and Merck & Co. In a 2001 paper in the journal Nature, Blum-Jensen and co-author Tony Hunter explained how dysregulated protein signaling can cause cancer.
Founded in 2018, Acrivon takes its name from the Greek word for “correct”. The company’s technology platform, called Acrivon Predictive Precision Proteomics, or AP3, is developing a tumor biopsy test that can be used to compare patients likely to respond to the drug. The test, called OncoSignatures, measures high levels of tumor-specific proteins as well as the biochemical pathways the drug targets. Acrivon is currently using OncoSignature to develop drug candidates to be detected internally in the preclinical phase. For OncoSignature’s first clinical trial, biotechnology turned to molecules
Lilly has a long history of repeatedly removing prexasertib. The drug, originally developed in partnership between Array Biopharma and Icos, reached Eli Lilly after the pharmaceutical giant stopped small-molecule research in 2019. According to Acrivon’s prospectus, response rates overall in Lilly’s phase 2 ovarian cancer trial was only 12%. . Acrivon believes technology can improve response rates by identifying more respondents.
Acrivon will receive pretreatment samples from ovarian cancer patients participating in the prexasertib study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Lilly. According to the IPO filing, an outside biostatistician reviewed the study data and OncoSignature scores and found that using the Acrivon test to identify patients eligible for treatment increased response rates by 47% in the NCI study and 47% in the Eli Lilly study. 58%. Acrivon also says the analysis could eliminate patients who react to the drug, saving on treatments that don’t work.
Acrivon plans to enroll ACR-368 in a phase 2 study of a cohort of ovarian, endometrial, and bladder cancers. The company says study participants will assist with potential regulatory submissions, which will be divided into subgroups based on sensitivities to experimental drugs identified by OncoSignature.
Acrivon buys cheap prexasertib 2021. Biotech paid $5 million in cash and issued Lilly stock to the company, according to IPO filings. Acrivon could pay Lilly up to $168 million in key payments related to the drug’s progress, as well as post-launch sales royalties. The agreement also gives Lilly a limited right to refuse any cancer drug acquisition negotiations. The rights expire 45 days after the completion of certain clinical milestones not specified in the IPO application.
Although ACR-368 prioritizes Acrivon in preparation for a new series of mid-stage trials, its preclinical program considers other important pathways for DNA damage response. You target a protein called WEE1; Another protein called PKMYT1. Competitors are developing drugs that target DNA damage. GSK’s acquisition of Sierra Oncology was largely driven by the promise of the myelofibrosis drug momelotinib, but the biotech’s system also includes the CHK1 inhibitor SRA737. Phase 2 work on small molecule advosertib, licensed by AstraZeneca from Merck to block WEE1, was halted last summer. However, other WEE1 inhibitors have reached the clinic
It’s been almost a year since Acrivon IPO raised $100 million in Series B. Biotech has raised $119.8 million before going public. Chione is Acrivon’s largest shareholder, owning 18.4% of the company’s shares after the IPO. RA Capital Management has a 7.5% stake. Acrivon reported $83.9 million in cash at the end of June. Most of the proceeds from the IPO will be used to develop ACR-368. The document says it will invest between $80 million and $90 million to establish drug manufacturing processes and product specifications, as well as develop companion diagnostics.
Of course, Acrivon plans to test ACR-368 in other cancers based on drug sensitivities assessed by OncoSignature. These cancers include HPV-positive squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, rectal cancer, and cervical cancer. The IPO filing says the company plans to use part of the new funding to begin a mid-stage trial in patients with HPV-positive tumors. Another $150 million to $20 million is earmarked to complete preclinical trials that focus on the use of new drugs under investigation in at least one of the company’s preclinical programs. The company will use the remaining funds to develop AP3 technology as well as other research and development efforts. The Akrivon conjecture