Cision PR Newswire
Pancreatic Cancer Battle Boosted by $200M VC Firm
News provided byUSA News Group
Sep 19, 2023, 12:54 PM ET
FN Media Group Presents USA News Group News Commentary
VANCOUVER, BC, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- USA News Group - A new cancer-focused venture capital firm is making headlines, having debuted with $200 million in funding from prominent individuals and institutions such as MIT, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University. Led by 31-year old Reed Jobs, the new firm dubbed 'Yosemite' appears to be an extension of the legacy left by the founder's father, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, who died in 2011 from a rare form of pancreatic cancer at the age of only 56. From an investment standpoint, the Global Pancreatic Cancer Market is expected to surpass US$7.4 billion by 2032, growing at a health CAGR of 13.7% along the way. Among the biotech sector's most promising developers of treatments for pancreatic cancer are Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCY) (TSX:ONC), Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MACK), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY), Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRTX), and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX).
According to the American Cancer Society in its Cancer Facts & Figures 2023 report, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer increased by 1% from the previous year to 12%. Back when his father passed away in 2011, Reed Jobs was studying at Stanford University to become a doctor. However, after the loss, Reed went on to join his mother at the impact investing and philanthropic organization formed by his mother called Emerson Collective. Unlike that organization, Yosemite will run as a for-profit business while also maintaining a donor-advised fund which will make grant money available to scientists.
"I had never ever wanted to be a venture capitalist," said Reed Jobs in an interview with the New York Times' Dealbook. "But I realized that when you're actually incubating something and putting it together, you can make a tremendous difference in what assets are part of that, what direction it's going to take, and what the scientific focus is going to be."
In terms of targeting pancreatic cancer, the efforts align with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), which has been urging advocates from all 50 US states to call on Congress to increase federal funding for pancreatic cancer research.
PanCAN has been active itself, having recently selected pelareorep, the flagship asset of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCY) (TSX:ONC) to be included in its pivotal Phase 3 trial, with promising prospects for approval as a first-line treatment. With the potential to reduce Phase 3 costs by around 50% compared to traditional trials and to accelerate late-stage development, pelareorep's selection heralds a new era of cost-efficient and effective clinical studies.
Upon the announcement of pelareorep's inclusion, the market responded immediately in favour of ONCY. Garnering the significant support of an institutional investor, Oncolytics Biotech raised another US$15 million to continue the advancement of its pelareorep clinical programs in both pancreatic and metastatic breast cancers. On a pro forma basis, including the net proceeds from the public offering, the company's cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of June 30, 2023, in the company's latest Q2 2023 financial results and operational highlights, was $42.7 million, which provides a projected runway into H2 2024.
"Our core programs in pancreatic and breast cancer are both progressing rapidly towards registrational studies on the back of the impressive clinical data showing the potential of pelareorep as a backbone immunotherapy," said Dr. Matt Coffey, President and CEO of Oncolytics Biotech. "Precision Promise, created by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, provides us with the opportunity to reduce the time and costs needed for a potential approval, and we are honored to have been selected for participation in this novel and exclusive trial."
In late 2022, pelareorep was granted Fast Track Designation (FTD) from the FDA for the treatment of advanced/metastatic pancreatic cancer.
This came almost immediately on the heels of an update on the GOBLET study, which is a critical investigation into pelareorep's effectiveness when combined with atezolizumab and chemotherapy. What's been unveiled so far is nothing short of remarkable: an impressive 69% response rate in the initial batch of evaluated patients. Among the 13 evaluated patients, one experienced a complete response - a rare and exceptional outcome in the field of cancer treatment. Compared to the usual 25% response rate observed with chemotherapy, the 69% response rate skyrockets way above the norm, nearly tripling the success rate.
"With a five-year survival rate of 12%, pancreatic cancer patients cannot afford to wait for new treatment options," said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, President and CEO of PanCAN. "This urgent unmet need was the driving inspiration behind the Precision Promise platform trial, which was designed specifically to identify, accelerate, and de-risk the development of promising pancreatic cancer treatments. We are thrilled to be bringing pelareorep into Precision Promise as a new investigational therapy to study against the current standard of care."
Shortly before pelareorep received its FDA nod in late 2022, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MACK) surged upon the news its partner Ipsen's cancer therapy Onivyde met the primary endpoint in a late-stage trial for a form of pancreatic cancer. Ipsen had acquired the US commercialization rights for Onivyde from Merrimack in 2017 in a potential $1 billion deal.
By June, Ipsen had announced the FDA's acceptance of a submission for a New Drug Application for Onivyde in first-line metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
"The FDA's decision to accept the sNDA for this Onivyde-based regimen in treatment-naïve patients with metastatic disease represents an important milestone in the potential treatment of this complex form of cancer," said Howard Mayer, Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development at Ipsen. "We're committed to developing therapies which have the potential to make a meaningful difference to the lives of people living with cancer and look forward to working with FDA as they review this application."
Another cancer treatment partnership that's made progress since late 2022 is that of Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY) and Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRTX). Incyte made the deal to start and pay for the first tests of a mix of drugs. These tests will be for people who have certain kinds of lung cancer, bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other solid tumors, with Mirati providing Incyte with a drug called Adagrasib to use in the study.
"We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Incyte, supplying Adagrasib for evaluation in combination with INCB99280," said Dr. Charles Baum, president, founder and head of research and development at Mirati Therapeutics. "This agreement is part of our rational combination strategy for Adagrasib and further demonstrates our focus to evaluate this asset in a broad range of combinations, including with novel approaches to checkpoint inhibition, to benefit people living with difficult-to-treat cancers."
While Reed Jobs's Yosemite has received backing from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, so too has BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) which is embarking on the next phase of a new mRNA pancreatic cancer vaccine trial, after promising results. The tailored neoantigen pancreatic cancer vaccine from BioNTech invoked an immune response in 50% of patients and prevented relapse.
"We are excited to move this trial forward into the next phase and test personalized mRNA vaccines in more pancreatic cancer patients," said MSK pancreatic cancer surgeon-scientist Vinod Balachandran, MD, who led the phase 1 trial in collaboration with BioNTech, and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this publication should be considered as personalized financial advice. We are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular financial situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized financial advice. Please consult a licensed financial advisor before making any investment decision. This is a paid advertisement and is neither an offer nor recommendation to buy or sell any security. We hold no investment licenses and are thus neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice. The content in this report or email is not provided to any individual with a view toward their individual circumstances. USA News Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Market IQ Media Group, Inc. ("MIQ"). MIQ has been paid a fee for Oncolytics Biotech Inc. advertising and digital media from the company directly. There may be 3rd parties who may have shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc., and may liquidate their shares which could have a negative effect on the price of the stock. This compensation constitutes a conflict of interest as to our ability to remain objective in our communication regarding the profiled company. Because of this conflict, individuals are strongly encouraged to not use this publication as the basis for any investment decision. The owner/operator of MIQ own shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. which were purchased in the open market, and reserve the right to buy and sell, and will buy and sell shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. at any time without any further notice commencing immediately and ongoing. We also expect further compensation as an ongoing digital media effort to increase visibility for the company, no further notice will be given, but let this disclaimer serve as notice that all material, including this article, which is disseminated by MIQ has been approved by Oncolytics Biotech Inc.; this is a paid advertisement, we currently own shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. and will buy and sell shares of the company in the open market, or through private placements, and/or other investment vehicles.
While all information is believed to be reliable, it is not guaranteed by us to be accurate. Individuals should assume that all information contained in our newsletter is not trustworthy unless verified by their own independent research. Also, because events and circumstances frequently do not occur as expected, there will likely be differences between the any predictions and actual results. Always consult a licensed investment professional before making any investment decision. Be extremely careful, investing in securities carries a high degree of risk; you may likely lose some or all of the investment.
USA News Group is Source of all content listed above. FN Media Group, LLC (FNM), is a third party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. FNM is NOT affiliated in any manner with USA News Group or any company mentioned herein. The commentary, views and opinions expressed in this release by USA News Group are solely those of USA News Group and are not shared by and do not reflect in any manner the views or opinions of FNM. FNM is not liable for any investment decisions by its readers or subscribers. FNM and its affiliated companies are a news dissemination and financial marketing solutions provider and are NOT a registered broker/dealer/analyst/adviser, holds no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security. FNM was not compensated by any public company mentioned herein to disseminate this press release.
This release contains "forward-loking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may", "future", "plan" or "planned", "will" or "should", "expected," "anticipates", "draft", "eventually" or "projected". You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company's annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and FNM undertakes no obligation to update such statements.
Media Contact Information:
FN Media Group, LLC
Media Contact e-mail:
U.S. Phone: +1(954)345-0611
SOURCE USA News Group
NOTE: This content is not written by or endorsed by "WOWK", its advertisers, or Nexstar Media Inc.