Aspyrian Therapeutics, Inc., a San Diego, CA-based biotechnology company developing precision-targeted cancer therapies based on the proprietary Photoimmunotherapy (PIT) platform, closed $15.1m Series B-1 financing round.
The funding, which is expected to reach about $19m in the next few weeks, was provided by private investors including Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten Inc., and Chairman of Aspyrian Therapeutics’ board.
Led by Miguel Garcia-Guzman, President and CEO, Aspyrian develops a new class of precision targeted oncologic drugs for the treatment of solid tumors based on the PIT platform licensed from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The company has secured the exclusive license to use IRDye 700DX® from LI-COR (Lincoln, Nebraska) for development of PIT products and 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.
Aspyrian intends to use the funds for the advancement of its proprietary precision targeted therapy, RM-1929, to late stage clinical development and the progression of new proprietary immune oncology assets into the clinic. The antibody conjugate RM-1929 is in recurrent head and neck cancer as well as other cancer areas. Development activities include initiating Phase 1 trials in Japan in 2017, completion of the ongoing Phase 2 study in the USA, initiation of a global registration clinical trial in the first half of 2018, and CMC manufacturing processes to support the launch and commercialization of RM-1929.
In addition to the development of RM-1929, Aspyrian is progressing with preclinical development of new proprietary immune oncology approaches that rapidly eliminate the immunosuppressive tumor environment and elicit innate and adaptive systemic immune responses to destroy tumors that are resistant to other classes of immune modulators, such as anti-PD1 antibodies.