MD Anderson, Theraclone Sciences form OncoResponse
--Immuno-oncology antibody discovery focus of company to be based in Houston--
HOUSTON and SEATTLE – Oct. 6, 2015 – OncoResponse, an immuno-oncology antibody discovery company, has been launched jointly by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Theraclone Sciences, of Seattle, Washington.
OncoResponse will use Theraclone’s I-STAR™ immune repertoire screening technology to identify therapeutic antibodies against novel targets from immuno-oncology treated patients. I-STAR technology rapidly screens antibodies made by the human immune system to identify those with exceptional reactivity that may lead to cancer treatment development. MD Anderson will provide access to samples and physiologic, prognostic and genotypic data from patients that have responded well to cancer immunotherapies, along with oncology and translational medicine expertise.
“The immune system of patients who have responded exceptionally well to cancer immunotherapies may hold the key within their memory repertoire as to what gives them an edge over other patients with less robust immune responses. It could provide us with a way to increase success rates in treating cancer,” said Clifford J. Stocks, CEO of Theraclone and interim CEO of OncoResponse. “I-STAR immune repertoire screening technology has the unique capability to identify rare cancer-fighting antibodies and new targets. We’re extremely excited to have teamed up with MD Anderson experts to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer and their families.”
“Immunotherapy will continue to be of utmost significance for our patients who rely on us to provide them with the very latest in treatment options,” said Ronald DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “Through strategic alliances, we aim for more timely delivery of therapies that will enhance their quality of life and successfully treat their disease.”
The new company announced the closing of a $9.5 million Series A financing co-led by ARCH Venture Partners, Canaan Partners and MD Anderson. William Marsh Rice University and Alexandria Real Estate Equities also participated.
The OncoResponse launch is the latest in collaborative efforts by MD Anderson that are facilitating further development of a biotech hub in Houston, attracting blue chip investors such as ARCH, Canaan and others. They represent a growing trend in alliances between the pharmaceutical industry and biomedical research and healthcare institutions.
“With MD Anderson, OncoResponse has partnered with an institution and people with countless years of experience in research and treatment in oncology. We’ll gain access to data, information and the immune system memory cells from those patients who are elite responders to cancer immunotherapies. That, coupled with the experience of the Theraclone team, who has overseen the discovery and development of several relevant product candidates from the I-STAR technology in multiple therapeutic area, make OncoResponse a sound investment,” commented Steve Gillis, Ph.D., managing director of ARCH Venture Partners.
OncoResponse interrogates the human immune system using I-STAR™ technology to discover therapeutic antibodies against novel immuno-oncology targets. By identifying candidates from the immune systems of patients who have responded exceptionally well to cancer immunotherapies, OncoResponse has the potential to increase the success rate of these therapies across multiple cancer types. www.oncoresponseinc.com.
About MD Anderson
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. The institution’s sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is one of only 44 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MD Anderson is ranked No. 1 for cancer care in the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospital’s” survey. It has ranked as one of the nation’s top two hospitals since the survey began in 1990, and has ranked first 11 of the past 14 years. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).
About Theraclone Sciences
Theraclone is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel, monoclonal antibody therapeutics for diseases in infectious disease and cancer. Theraclone leverages its proprietary antibody discovery technology, I-STARTM to identify rare fully human antibodies from immunologically relevant human subjects. Those antibodies, discovered from convalescent patients and vaccinated subjects, may be developed into drug product candidates that are potentially safer and more effective than current therapies, or that address an unmet medical need. Theraclone has a portfolio of innovative programs at preclinical and clinical development stages.
Current projects include:
- Theraclone conducts research on behalf of OncoResponse focused on discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies and novel targets derived from immune-modulatory treated cancer patients. Efforts are currently underway in triple negative breast cancer, melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and gastric cancer.
- Ebola Viral Disease (EBV)
- Gram-negative multidrug-resistant bacteria
- Clinical Phase 2 stage TCN-032 - a recombinant fully human monoclonal antibody for the treatment of patients hospitalized with serious influenza. TCN-032 has shown statistically significant reduction in viral load and improvement of clinical symptom scores in a Phase 2a viral challenge model.
Theraclone is a privately held company having antibody discovery collaborations with Gilead, Pfizer,
Zenyaku Kogyo and IAVI, and venture investment from ARCH Venture Partners, Canaan Partners,
Healthcare Ventures, MPM Capital, Amgen Ventures, Versant Ventures, Wellcome Trust and Alexandria
Real Estate Equities. For additional information, please visit www.theraclone-sciences.com.
For Theraclone Sciences:
MacDougall Biomedical Communications