SEATTLE, March 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Presage Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering a new cancer drug development approach using its Comparative In Vivo Oncology (CIVO®) intratumoral microdosing platform, today announced the closing of a $13 million financing and commencement of new research collaborations with Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, and Maverick Therapeutics.
The financing includes $7 million raised from new investors, including the LabCorp Venture Fund, Bristol Myers Squibb, and InHarv Partners Ltd. An additional $6 million convertible note from Takeda Ventures will convert to equity. The proceeds from this financing will support expansion of Presage's existing network of clinical sites in the U.S. and Australia, as well as development of next-generation CIVO microdose injection devices designed to access a wider spectrum of cancers. Presage has pioneered a new approach to early evaluation of investigational cancer drugs and combinations in clinical trials with a technology that enables detailed assessment of multiple drugs simultaneously in patients with solid tumors. This investment brings the total equity raised by Presage to date to $35 million.
"At Labcorp, we recognize that the future of cancer drug development will rely heavily on clinically relevant and innovative data-driven approaches to early drug candidate assessment," said Dr. Steve Anderson, Chief Scientific Officer, Labcorp Drug Development. "Presage's CIVO technology and unique approach to early anticancer drug evaluation represent a potential solution that typical preclinical models cannot address."
The research collaborations with Merck and Maverick will utilize CIVO to evaluate novel investigational oncology agents in Phase 0 trials, bringing the total number of partners utilizing Presage's approach to early drug evaluation to five. Presage has ongoing collaborations with Takeda and other large pharmaceutical organizations for Phase 0 trials with CIVO.
"The tumor microenvironment presents complexities that cannot be modeled outside the context of the cancer patient. Presage's technology may provide valuable insights as an analytical tool to investigate the activation of our novel, conditionally active T cell engager and subsequent modulation of immune and anti-tumor responses early on in the drug development process," said Jeremiah Degenhardt, PhD, Vice President, Translational Oncology & Bioinformatics, Maverick Therapeutics.
"It's gratifying to have the support of venture investors to help expand the reach, capacity and applications of our CIVO platform," said Rich Klinghoffer, PhD, Presage CEO. "In addition, we are excited to collaborate with Merck and Maverick to help investigate the potential of CIVO to streamline their early drug development efforts. We remain committed to transforming translational oncology and are actively engaged with our pharma collaborators as we apply our approach to maximize their drug discovery and development efforts."
About CIVO and Phase 0 Trials Comparative In Vivo Oncology (CIVO) is Presage's patented platform that enables intratumoral microdosing and analysis of multiple cancer agents. Phase 0 trials, or Exploratory Investigational New Drug studies, allow for the evaluation of minute amounts of drugs in patients to assess pharmacodynamic effects. Presage is advancing the use of CIVO in Phase 0 trials in order to rapidly evaluate multiple drug candidates and enhance knowledge applicable for future trial design. A recently completed clinical trial demonstrated that CIVO is well tolerated and highlighted drug-specific tumor cell and microenvironment responses to both small molecule and biologic agents.
About Presage Presage Biosciences is an oncology company pioneering a new drug development approach to assess novel therapeutics and combinations directly in human tumors with its patented CIVO intratumoral microdosing platform. The CIVO platform is intended to enable simultaneous assessment of responses to multiple drugs or drug combinations directly in a single tumor while still in a patient's body. Presage also partners with oncology-focused pharmaceutical companies through strategic alliances to provide preclinical data to discover effective drug combinations. Presage is privately held and based in Seattle. For more information, visit www.presagebio.com.