(February 2, 2018) - Forbius (Formation Biologics), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it was awarded a competitive, peer reviewed 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 is an isoform selective TGF-β inhibitor that 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 company that designs and develops biotherapeutics for treatment of cancer and fibrotic diseases. Forbius’ medicines are designed to radically transform patients’ lives. Our strength is to use our knowledge of biology and diverse protein engineering technologies to design superior inhibitors of validated biological pathways.
We have particularly deep expertise in targeting Transforming Growth Factor-Beta (TGF-β) and Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) pathways. For both of these pathways, there is a significant body of evidence validating their role as drivers of multiple life-threatening conditions. However, in the case of the EGF pathway, the majority of patients do not benefit from currently marketed EGFR inhibitors. In the case of the TGF-β pathway, no agent targeting this pathway has yet been approved. By using multiple complimentary platform technologies, Forbius’ team overcame barriers that prevented the development of effective therapeutics targeting these pathways.