PCI Biotech and Ultimovacs initiates preclinical research collaboration
Oslo, 27 January 2016 - PCI Biotech (OSE: PCIB), a cancer focused biopharmaceutical company, and Ultimovacs, a pharmaceutical company developing novel immunotherapy against cancer, today announced that they are initiating a preclinical research collaboration. The purpose of the collaboration is to utilise the companies' complementary scientific platforms to explore potential synergies.
The partnership is governed by a preclinical research collaboration agreement. In brief, the preclinical research collaboration will evaluate technology compatibility and synergy based on in vivo studies. The companies will evaluate results achieved from this research collaboration and then explore the potential for a further partnership.
Per Walday, CEO of PCI Biotech, said: "I'm very pleased to announce our first research agreement in the field of cancer vaccination. We believe that the PCI technology has the potential to play a role in the realisation of several new therapeutic modalities, including cancer immunotherapy. Our preclinical research with other peptide vaccines have demonstrated strong enhancement of important cellular immunity responses and we look forward to explore synergies with Ultimovacs promising vaccination technology."
Øyvind Kongstun Andersen, CEO of Ultimovacs, said: "Through this preclinical collaboration we are able to explore possible synergies between our two technologies. PCI has a very promising novel technology. Our therapeutic cancer vaccine is documented in patients to activate the immune system against cancer. We find it important for small biotech companies to collaborate and explore synergistic potential when there is an underlying scientific rationale. Such collaborative efforts may further strengthen the position of Norwegian companies within immunotherapy, which has become an important cancer treatment with a fast growing market."
About PCI Biotech
PCI Biotech is a cancer focused biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (Axess). The company is developing therapeutic products based on its proprietary photochemical internalisation (PCI) technology. The PCI technology works by inducing triggered endosomal release and may be used to unlock the true potential of a wide array of therapeutic modalities, such as small molecules, vaccines and nucleic acids. The company has a clinical Phase I/II program in bile duct cancer, which is an orphan indication without approved medicinal products and a high need for better local treatments. The indication is well suited for PCI treatment, with easy light access through routine endoscopic methods and an active generic drug (gemcitabine) significantly enhanced by PCI. The company is also developing PCI as a vaccination technology. When applied in the emerging field of cancer immunotherapy, PCI can be used to enhance the important cytotoxic effect of therapeutic cancer vaccines. The PCI technology is also very well suited for intracellular delivery of nucleic acids, such as RNA therapeutics. By releasing nucleic acid compounds from endosomes where they are trapped following administration, PCI addresses one of the major bottlenecks facing this emerging and exciting field. PCI Biotech follows a strategy to create value by improving the effect of existing cancer drugs and by realising the large potential in new therapeutics.
Ultimovacs is a small pharmaceutical company developing novel immunotherapy against cancer. The leading product is UV1, a therapeutic cancer vaccine directed against human telomerase (hTERT). The vaccine is a result of many years of preclinical and clinical research at the Norwegian Radium Hospital. UV1 is a synthetic peptide vaccine. The peptides included in the vaccine is based on observation of immune responses in patients with advanced malignant disease surviving several years after vaccination with a hTERT based therapeutic cancer vaccine. The company is currently performing three clinical trials with UV1. Two trials are documenting safety and the vaccines ability to activate the immune system against cancer cells expressing the hTERT fragments that are the components of the vaccine when given on top of standard treatment in prostate cancer and lung cancer. A third clinical trial is assessing safety and clinical outcomes when combining UV1 with ipilimumab in patients with malignant melanoma.