OncoPep Raises $6.9 Million Series B Financing to Advance Novel Cancer Vaccines and Expands Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial
BOSTON – August 28, 2014 — OncoPep, Inc., today announced the closing of $6.9 million in Series B financing from new and existing investors. The financing included participation from angel groups, family foundations and individuals, as well as equity investment from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). LLS’ decision to participate in the financing round resulted from a review of OncoPep’s application for funding from LLS’ Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP), which identifies therapies that have the potential to change the standard of care for patients with blood cancers. OncoPep’s lead cancer vaccine, PVX-410, is designed to target tumor antigens associated with multiple myeloma (MM), a cancer of the plasma cells, and was granted orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013.
Proceeds raised will support the clinical development of PVX-410, currently being studied in patients with smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), an asymptomatic stage of MM. To date, 12 patients have been treated with vaccine alone in the ongoing Phase 1/2a clinical trial of PVX-410, and the trial has been expanded to include a second treatment arm adding concurrent courses of lenalidomide. Lenalidomide, which is commercially available for the treatment of MM, is an immunomodulatory agent that may complement the mechanism of action of PVX-410. It has demonstrated clinical benefit when combined with dexamethasone in a Phase 3 clinical study treating patients with SMM.1
“We are delighted to have received financial support from both existing and new investors, including LLS. Their investment translates directly into advancing the only clinical stage immunotherapy for SMM patients, whose current treatment paradigm is routine monitoring for progression through watchful waiting,” said Doris Peterkin, president and chief executive officer of OncoPep. “We also welcome the addition of Keting Chu, M.D., Ph.D., the vice president of research of TAP, to OncoPep’s Scientific Advisory Board.”
“LLS remains committed to the advancement of promising new treatment options for patients with blood cancers, including those with asymptomatic SMM,” said Lee Greenberger, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of LLS. “Every dollar we invest in the development of potential novel treatments brings us closer to our goal of curing leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other blood cancers.
References: 1Mateos, et al. N Engl J Med. (2013) 369(5): 438-47.