Eleven Bio gets cancer focused with Viventia
- Eleven Biotherapeutics has completed its acquisition of Viventia to create a company focused on targeted protein therapeutics.
- With the deal, Eleven gains a drug platform technology and two locally-administered clinical candidates, vicinium and proxinium. Vicunium is in Phase 3, with bladder cancer data expected in 2018. Proxinium should enter Phase 2 for head and neck cancer in 2017, and has orphan drug designation in the U.S. and EU, as well as Fast Track designation in the U.S.
- Viventia's CEO Stephen Hurly becomes president and CEO, and Abbie C. Celniker, Eleven's president and CEO, remains a director of the new company.
It has been a year of change for Eleven Bio. It started with a Phase 3 failure of its IL-1 receptor inhibitor EBI-005 (isunikinra), in development for treatment of dry eye disease and conjunctivitis. This next led to a decision to slash almost three-quarters of its staff in June 2016, cutting the workforce to just six.
Things seem to have started to pick up for the beleaguered biotech over the last couple of months, beginning with the completion of the deal to outlicense Eleven's preclinical IL-6 antagonist EBI-031 and its other IL-6 antibodies to Roche. The deal overall could be worth up to $270 million.
By hooking up with Viventia, the 'new' Eleven Bio becomes a cancer-focused company developing targeted protein therapeutics made up of antibody fragments linked with highly toxic payloads. These allow the cytotoxic drugs to be delivered directly to the tumor with less of an effect on healthy cells.
The company also gains capital to fund clinical trials of the two lead drugs, vicinium and proxinium. The company also has a pipeline of next-generation targeted protein therapeutics, including VB6-845d, in Phase 1 in solid tumors.
According to IMS, the pipeline of drugs in development has also grown over the last decade, and the vast majority of these are targeted drugs. The global cancer market grew to $107 billion in 2017, with an 11.5% growth in spend, and a predicted 7.5% to 10.5% growth rate to 2020. This was largely driven by new and innovative therapies.
- Eleven Biotherapeutics Statement
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