SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Eutilex Co. Ltd. today announced that it has completed a $21 billion KRW (US $18.9M) Series A financing. This financing round included participation from DS Asset Management, Kolon Investment, G.N. Tech Venture and SNU Bio Angel. This new funding brings the total capital raised by Eutilex to 30.5 billion KRW (US $27.7M) since its founding in 2015.
The funding will help Eutilex to bolster the development and commercialization of its immuno-oncology programs, expand its R&D capabilities by building a new Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility in Seoul and advance the company's lead therapeutic product candidate, 4-1BB CTL, into Phase 2 clinical studies. The transaction is one of the largest private financings in the life sciences sector in South Korea this year.
"Some of the best-known investors in Asia stepped up in what is a testament to the potential of our immuno-oncology programs," said Byoung S. Kwon, Ph.D., Eutilex's founder and CEO. "We have seen compelling results both in terms of safety profile as well as first proof of efficacy in humans in our Phase 1 clinical trials for our adoptive T cell therapy technology. Our immunomodulatory antibodies have also demonstrated safety and efficacy in humanized oncology models."
The Series A financing comes at the end of a year in which Eutilex saw the rapid expansion of clinical trials of 4-1BB CTL and translational research capabilities of the antibody programs. Recently, the company added Chief Business Officer Agustin de la Calle, Ph.D., an industry veteran with extensive experience in business development, to help broaden Eutilex's collaborations and explore business opportunities in North America, Europe and China.
"In over a year since its founding, Eutilex has assembled a high-quality management team and has several immuno-oncology programs including adoptive T cell therapies into mid-stage studies," said Chang Wan Joo, DVM, team manager of venture investment businesses at Kolon Investment, Inc. "Eutilex's novel approach in immuno-oncology is the main reason we are eager to support the company's development. Its approach to T cell therapies seem to mitigate toxicity in humans, which is a major concern involving current cellular therapies. In addition, Eutilex's pursuit to target novel agonistic immune modulators has resulted in antibody therapeutics that show exceptional therapeutic effect."
About Lead Adoptive T-Cell Therapy, 4-1BB CTL
4-1BB CTL is an autologous T cell therapy that enriches the patient's own anti-tumor CD8+ T cells outside of the body (ex-vivo) and is then re-infused back into patients. These modified T cells are then able to detect and efficiently kill tumor cells. Eutilex's proprietary procedure to T cell therapy was shown to be safer as it employs a naturally selected peripheral T cell receptor repertoire. In a Phase 1 trial, 4-1BB CTL proved to be efficacious while demonstrating a benign safety profile in terminally ill cancer patients.
EU-101 is a human monoclonal antibody (mAb) agonist that binds to 4-1BB (also called CD137), a protein receptor expressed in many immune cells, particularly CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. The binding of a 4-1BB agonist to CD137 is typically found to stimulate and increase the number of T cells, which strengthens anti-tumor immunity to kill cancer cells. EU-101 is being studied alone and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors and has been shown to work with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor to produce an amplified immune response.
EU-102 is a human monoclonal antibody (mAb) based on a new mechanism of action, binding to T cells and converting regulatory T cells into effector T cells. This changes the tumor microenvironment and permits infiltration of the anti-tumor T cells and natural killer T cells into the tumor for a complete regression in humanized cancer models.
About Eutilex Co. Ltd.
Based in Seoul, South Korea, Eutilex is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of anti-tumor T cell and antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancers and autoimmune diseases. The most advanced drug candidate is an adoptive T cell therapy, 4-1BB CTL, which has finished Phase 1 clinical trials and will begin Phase 2. Other pipeline candidates in development include monoclonal antibodies, EU-101, EU-102 and EU-103. For more information, please visit http://eutilex.com/eng/home.php.
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SOURCE Eutilex Co. Ltd.