The joint venture, to be called Race Immunotherapeutics, will focus on developing improved cancer therapies based on combining Bisantrene with TargImmune’s targeted cancer therapy technology.
Bisantrene is a cancer chemotherapy drug related to anthracyclines, a class of drugs used as the first line of treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and many other cancers.
Race Immunotherapeutics joint venture will be a 50:50 partnership between Race and TargImmune, and all new intellectual property will be equally co-owned by the parties.
The joint venture will be independently funded and operations will commence once funding is in place and formal agreements executed.
All core development work will be conducted by TargImmune scientists in Basel, under the guidance of a steering committee that includes Race scientific staff.
Race will provide scientific support and Bisantrene drug product, but no direct funding to the joint venture.
The TargImmune technology platform, which was in-licensed from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, encompasses a proprietary non-viral vector to target receptors that are overexpressed on cancer cells.
Once at the target cell, the vector delivers an immune-modulating agent into the cell, which then triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death) and an immune response against the cancer.
Because of its greatly reduced cardiotoxicity and mode of action, Bisantrene potentially represents the ideal chemotherapy to combine with TargImmune.
Race’s share price increased 30% since March 2017, last trading at $0.24.