HOUSTON, Dec. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Allterum Therapeutics, Inc. completed its $1.8 million Series Seed offering to members of the FanninDirectSM investor group. Allterum is developing a novel immunotherapy for treatment of IL7R-expressing cancers, including difficult to treat cases of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a program which has received both Orphan Drug and Rare Pediatric Disease Designations from FDA. The company will use the proceeds for its pre-clinical antibody manufacturing and toxicology work and to continue to build the management team.
Philip P. Breitfeld, MD, a pediatric oncologist and former Global Vice President, Therapeutic Centers of Excellence of IQVIA (the renamed Quintiles/IMS Health), has joined Allterum as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Breitfeld has over thirty five years experience in clinical development, including at major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
"Having been fortunate to be part of the care of many children and adolescents with ALL, it is a dream to be part of the Allterum team focused on bringing new therapeutic options to children with ALL," said Dr. Breitfeld.
Although a majority of pediatric patients with ALL are successfully treated with current chemotherapies, a subset of patients experience relapse. In particular, patients with recurring T-cell ALL have extremely limited therapeutic options; as a result, these patients frequently have a poor prognosis. Allterum's immunotherapy, invented at the National Cancer Institute by Dr. Scott Durum and his colleagues, was designed to be effective in these patients. It is also expected to benefit a much larger group of patients with IL7-R-expressing cancers including additional patients with leukemias, as well as sub-populations of patients with solid tumors.
"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Breitfeld to the team," said Dr. Atul Varadhachary, Allterum President & CEO. "He will play a pivotal role in advancing our programs addressing unmet critical medical needs in both childhood leukemias and in solid tumors."
Allterum is partnering with the Therapeutics Advances in Childhood Leukemia & Lymphoma (TACL) consortium to design a Phase 1/2 clinical trial, with Dr. Eric Schafer (Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital) and Dr. Susan Rheingold (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the study. Allterum anticipates filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA in early 2021, leading to the launch of the clinical trial.
In addition to the initial sponsor funding by Fannin Partners and the Series Seed proceeds, Allterum has also received a $2.9 million Product Development grant from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Founded in 2018, Allterum Therapeutics, Inc., is a bio-pharmaceutical company developing 4A10, a monoclonal antibody therapy for the treatment of IL-7R-expressing cancers including pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and sub-populations of solid tumors. Allterum Therapeutics is a spin-out company, founded by Fannin Innovation Studio.
About Fannin Innovation Studio
Houston-based Fannin Innovation Studio is an early-stage life sciences development group focused exclusively on commercializing biotech and medtech technologies. Fannin creates and manages startups to develop internal and in-licensed programs. To further bridge the commercialization gap, Fannin's fellowship and internship programs provide aspiring entrepreneurs with hands-on development experience in its portfolio companies. For more information, visit www.FanninInnovation.com, come by the Studio at 3900 Essex Lane -- Suite 575 in Houston, or email us at [email protected].