Prima Biomed Ltd, a leader in the development of personalized immunocellular therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer, has announced an important investment agreement of more than $2.5 million with Bergen Global Opportunity Fund, LP, a New York institutional investor.
This investment will allow Prima to acquire the French biopharma firm Immutep SA, and develop their complementary types of cancer immunotherapies based on its Lymphocyte Activation Gene 3 (LAG-3) technology, which includes the lead immunopotentiator IMP321, a soluble recombinant form of the human LAG-3 protein.
IMP321 can bind to circulating dendritic cells and some monocytes on patient’s blood, which results in the production of important cytokines responsible for the initiation of anti-tumoral immune responses.
In addition to research and development, Prima will also receive milestone payments and royalties for several partnerships that Immutep currently has ongoing, such as a Phase II chemo-immunotherapy trial combining IMP321 with chemotherapy for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer; a Phase I clinical trial for IMP731 in autoimmune diseases in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline; and an immune checkpoint blocker preclinical program for IMP701 in cancer immunotherapy partnered with CoStim (Novartis).
Prima’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Marc Voigt said in a company’s press release “The funding provides us with financing certainty for the acquisition of Immutep and over the next two years as we continue to develop our clinical trial program for CVac and Immutep’s product portfolio. This presents a major opportunity to grow and strengthen the company and provides Prima with a diverse pipeline of early- and mid-stage development candidates and the opportunity to develop other preclinical candidates. Through this transaction, combining experience of personalized cancer therapy at Prima Biomed with the immunotherapy innovation and expertise of novel cancer targets at Immutep, Prima steps to the forefront of cancer immunotherapy development, including monotherapy and combined approaches. This is a very exciting prospect.”
Mr. Eugene Tablis, Bergen Asset Management’s Chief Investment Officer added “We look forward to working with Prima as it executes on its corporate and scientific plans. Our best investments have been made in companies in transition. We are delighted to be able to provide the company with funding that can enable it to complete its clinical trials and to expand.”
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