Post-Con BIO CEO Company Snapshot: Immunovaccine

A few weeks ago, the BIO CEO & Investor Conference concluded in New York City. With a 30% increase in One-on-One Partnering meetings and sold out company presentations, industry execs gathered to do business, and hear the latest from innovative companies.

As a precursor to the event, the company snapshot campaign highlighted a few of the companies who would be participating onsite. This year, the snapshot feature concludes with an interview from Marc Mansour, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of Immunovaccine. Read on to learn more about their work, and why 2014 should be a significant year for the company.

What is your company’s lead product or technology?

Immunovaccine develops cancer immunotherapies and infectious disease vaccines based on the Company’s DepoVax™ technology platform. DepoVax is a patented formulation that provides controlled and prolonged exposure of antigens and adjuvants to the immune system. Immunovaccine has advanced two T cell activation therapies for cancer through Phase I human clinical trials. Lead cancer vaccine therapy, DPX-Survivac, which has delivered some of the strongest immune responses against a cancer target seen to date in Phase I testing, is expected to enter Phase II clinical studies in ovarian cancer and glioblastoma (brain cancer) in 2014.

How does your company go about differentiating itself from the competition?

There are several key details that differentiate Immunovaccine from competitors. First and foremost, we believe our proprietary DepoVax vaccine adjuvanting platform is a powerful technology that provides our vaccine candidates an unrivaled boost in strength and duration of therapeutic impact. Secondly, is the impressive data we have achieved to date with our lead cancer vaccine, DPX-Survivac. The immune response and activity triggered by DPX-Survivac in our Phase I studies is among the strongest reported for a cancer vaccine. Finally, we think our strategic focus on developing cancer vaccines as part of combination therapy sets us apart. We always thrive to conduct clinical studies of our cancer vaccines in combination with potentially synergistic compounds like immune modulators and other immunotherapies when possible.

What are the upcoming milestones and long-term priorities for your company?

2014 promises to be a significant year for Immunovaccine, particularly as it pertains to our work in the area of cancer vaccines. We have been very successful to date in Phase I clinical studies – delivering some of the strongest immune responses reported to date for a cancer vaccine. These results set the stage for a strategic Phase II clinical program for our lead oncology asset, DPX-Survivac. We intend to initiate Phase II trials of DPX-Survivac in at least two tumor types during 2014. In the long-term, we are focused on successfully completing clinical development of our cancer vaccine candidates as quickly as possible in an effort to provide much needed treatment options to patients.

Tell us something about your company that investors might not know.

One thing that we take great pride in at Immunovaccine has been our ability to aggressively advance our clinical development programs in a capital efficient manner, often via strategic relationships and non-dilutive financing vehicles. We have combined a variety of grants from government agencies, as well as collaborations with academic institutions and research organizations, to provide significant capital resources when fundraising was very challenging. We would also point to the fact that with the frenzy of M&A activity in the cancer immunotherapy space, our lead cancer vaccine, DPX-Survivac, represents one of the industry’s few remaining non-partnered, high-value cancer immunotherapy assets. That places Immunovaccine in an enviable position as companies’ appetites for compelling cancer immunotherapy assets remains high.

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Thank you to Immunovaccine and all of our presenters from the 16th Annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference. We know the industry is eagerly looking forward to the year ahead, and we hope to see everyone again to discuss at the 17th annual event!

BIO CEO: Five Prime Therapeutics Company Snapshot

Five Prime Therapeutics is another company that will be presenting at next week’s BIO CEO & Investor Conference. They will be among 20 other presenters at the event who debuted an IPO in the last two years. Read below to learn more about their work, and what to expect from them at the event.

What is your company’s lead product or technology?

Five Prime focuses on discovering and developing novel protein therapeutics for cancer and inflammatory diseases. We leverage our comprehensive library of 5,700 human extracellular proteins and proprietary high-throughput screening technologies to produce new targets for therapeutics for partners and ourselves. Our most advanced candidate is FP-1039 (GSK3052230), a fibroblast growth factor (FGF) ligand trap being developed with GSK for solid tumors. A Phase 1b study in FGFR1-amplified lung cancer and other tumors is underway.

How does your company go about differentiating itself from the competition?

We spent 7 years successfully developing a platform to accelerate protein therapeutic discovery based on:

  • a proprietary library of more than 5,700 human extracellular proteins that we believe is the most comprehensive collection of fully functional extracellular proteins available
  • proprietary technologies for producing and testing thousands of proteins at a time.

We believe our platform can:

  • identify novel medically relevant protein targets and protein therapeutics that have little or no previously known biological function
  • determine the best protein target among alternatives
  • identify new targets more quickly and efficiently than previously possible.

Your company went public last year. What are your company’s goals and priorities for 2014? 

Our goals in 2014 are to continue to progress our pipeline products in clinical development (FP-1039 for cancers in Phase 1b, FPA008 for inflammatory diseases in Phase 1, and FPA144 for gastric cancer, projected to enter Phase 1 by end of year), advance our research with our collaborators at GSK and UCB in the areas of muscle disease, respiratory disease, fibrosis and CNS disorders, establish a new discovery collaboration, and expand and accelerate our internal research efforts in cancer immunotherapy.

Tell us something about your company that investors might not now.

We are leveraging our discovery platform in cancer immunotherapy, focusing on

  • Unknown binding partners for known targets (e.g., TIM3, VISTA, B7-H3/H4)
  • Novel pathways that regulate anti-tumor immunity

Five Prime Therapeutics will be presenting Monday, February 10th at 2:00pm in Basildon. For those not at the conference and are interested in hearing webcasts from companies, select presentations will be available online on our website. We look forward to seeing everyone!

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Company snapshots are meant to be previews of presentations given at BIO events by way of answering set questions. BIO does not substantiate or validate any claims mentioned in company snapshots or presentations.