SAN DIEGO, July 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Aspyrian Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage drug development company creating precision-targeted therapies to treat cancer based on its proprietary Photoimmunotherapy platform has secured $4.25 million as part of a Series A extension financing. This financing will support the execution of Phase 1 Clinical Studies of RM-1929, Aspyrian's first in-class drug therapy for the treatment of patients with recurrent head and neck cancer.
RM-1929 is an antibody conjugate with a non-toxic payload (IRDye® 700DX) that precisely targets a specific cancer antigen that is highly expressed in carcinomas allowing treatment of a number of different cancer types, including cancers of the head and neck, esophagus, lung, colon, and pancreas. RM-1929 is administered systemically but its pharmacological action is limited to the tumors where laser mediated activation triggers cancer cell killing resulting in rapid, robust, and highly specific anticancer responses. The dual targeting resulting from the in-tumor activation of the cancer-selective conjugate promises to provide oncologists and surgeons with a new therapeutic approach to achieve effective locoregional tumor control with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissues and structures.
"We are delighted and honored to have the support of our investors who share the vision to transform the treatment of cancer with our novel first-in-class precision target therapies based on the Photoimmunotherapy platform. Their support is fundamental to rapidly advance RM-1929 into clinical testing with the objective to help a patient population with critical unmet medical needs," said Miguel Garcia-Guzman, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer at Aspyrian. "Together with our investors, the team at Aspyrian is focused on the clinical testing of RM-1929 and we aim to achieve clinical proof-of-concept of safety and anti-cancer activity by mid 2016."
In preclinical studies RM-1929 has demonstrated an excellent safety profile and a robust anticancer activity with remarkable cancer specificity. The open label Clinical Phase 1 Study has been designed to characterize the safety, cancer specificity and the anticancer activity of RM-1929 in combination with laser-mediated activation at the tumor site. The trial will enroll up to 44 recurrent head and neck cancer patients who have failed standard treatments of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy and currently have no further treatment options available.
"This patient population has no further treatment options available to them and we believe that Photoimmunotherapy with RM-1929 has the potential to uniquely provide a viable option to control this disease while preserving normal healthy tissues in the head and neck area that are so critical to maintaining the patient's quality of life," said Dr. Merrill Biel, M.D. Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Aspyrian. "We have currently activated the first clinical site and expect the activation of three to four additional sites in the near future. The clinical study has been initiated and the first patient has been enrolled and treated with RM-1929. The clinical study is designed to assist in the expedited characterization of RM-1929 as a potentially safe and efficacious treatment for recurrent head and neck cancers."
Photoimmunotherapy with RM-1929 not only represents a new first-in-class anticancer modality offering the potential to achieve robust anticancer activity but it may also be integrated or combined with other anticancer modalities to achieve longer-lasting and potentially curative outcomes for difficult-to-treat patients.
For additional information about the phase 1 clinical study of RM-1929 please see the trial description at ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier: NCT02422979)
About Aspyrian Therapeutics Inc.
Aspyrian is developing a new class of precision-targeted oncologic drugs for the treatment of solid tumors based on the Photoimmunotherapy platform licensed exclusively from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Photoimmunotherapy utilizes cancer-selective antibodies conjugated to the molecule IRDye® 700DX that is activated with a laser at the tumor site to induce rapid cancer cell destruction. Laser activation can be accomplished on an outpatient basis by either external illumination or by radiologic guided placement of an optical fiber directly into the tumor to illuminate a deep-seated cancer. Aspyrian has secured the exclusive license to use IRDye® 700DX from LI-COR Biosciences for development of Photoimmunotherapy products. The Company is currently working with a number of monoclonal antibodies with the potential to treat various types of cancers, including head and neck, esophageal, lung, brain, pancreatic, colorectal, breast and ovarian.
For more information, please visit www.aspyriantherapeutics.com
SOURCE Aspyrian Therapeutics Inc.