Wednesday 4th July 2018: Australian immuno-oncology company HaemaLogiX has signed an agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited ("Takeda") to work together on a research collaboration that may lead to the development of new treatments for patients with multiple myeloma. Takeda is one of the leading companies in the field of myeloma with two established treatments marketed globally.
The first step is an agreed pre-clinical research plan that will build on the existing HaemaLogiX understanding about the prevalence and characteristics of its novel target antigens on the surface of malignant myeloma cells. Research suggests these antigens may be an important target of new treatments for multiple myeloma in the future.
Myeloma is a blood cancer caused by malignant plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. Prior research has shown these cancer cells have specific antigens on their surface. These malignant plasma cells invade and expand in the bone marrow often in multiple areas of the body. Hence the disease is often called multiple myeloma.
Approximately 1,500 people in Australia are diagnosed with the disease each year and globally it is estimated that 86,000 people are diagnosed annually with the devastating disease. It accounts for 15% of blood cancers and 1% of all cancers generally. The recent introduction of new agents for the treatment of multiple myeloma are demonstrating promising clinical results and new treatment forms are under evaluation but a clinical need for new therapies remains.
HaemaLogiX is involved in an area of cancer research, immuno-oncology, that is generating excitement worldwide within the scientific and medical community. This collaboration aims to explore the application of HaemaLogiX's novel antigens with different treatment forms. Both companies hope this may lead to the development of new and effective treatment options for patients with myeloma.
According to Bryce Carmine, Chairman and CEO of HaemaLogiX, "this new partnership will be the first step toward commercialisation of the company's core technology with a global leader in the myeloma field. It would be terrific for HaemaLogiX, if this process leads to further steps in our collaboration in the future. For now, HaemaLogiX retains the full ability to pursue its antibodies in applications outside of the scope of this collaboration".
The two phases of this collaboration - confirming and characterising these target antigens plus researching novel agents - are expected to take up to two years. The financial terms of this collaboration will not be disclosed at this time.
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Australian immuno-oncology company HaemaLogiX has signed an agreement with health and research institutions for commercialisation rights to an immuno-oncology agent designed to specifically target malignant cancer cells present in the bone marrow of multiple myeloma patients.
Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Western Sydney Local Health District, Children's Medical Research Institute, and the University of Sydney finalised the agreement with HaemaLogiX today.
Myeloma is a blood cancer caused by malignant plasma cells that develop and multiply in the bone marrow. As bone marrow invaded by these malignant plasma cells is found in multiple areas of the body, the disease is often called multiple myeloma. About 1,500 people in Australia are diagnosed with the disease each year. It accounts for 15% of blood cancers and 1% of all cancers generally. Despite the recent introduction of new agents in the treatment of multiple myeloma almost all patients will develop drug resistance and the disease will eventually recur.
"This collaboration positions HaemaLogiX to be a strong competitor in the rapidly developing global immuno-oncology field and among a few companies that have an agent selectively targeting only the malignant myeloma cells, and not healthy cells" said Bryce Carmine, Chairman and CEO of HaemaLogiX.
"This technology is similar to very promising agents referred to CAR T-cell (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapies developed by other companies to treat non-myeloma blood cancers that have generated recent publicity".
Assigning the commercialisation rights came after Westmead Institute for Medical Research and staff of the University of Sydney within the Western Sydney Local Health District conducted research to adapt the HaemaLogiX core antibody for use as a CAR T-cell. This research is being funded by a Cancer Council NSW Project Grant. The HaemaLogiX antibody has previously been tested in patients with the blood cancer multiple myeloma, and further clinical trials are ongoing.
HaemaLogiX together with the Westmead research team are preparing to test the novel CAR T-cell therapy in myeloma patients commencing in 2018. "If the clinical trial proves successful this agent may provide an additional option for patients with drug-resistant myeloma" said Dr David Gottlieb, Professor of Haematology at the University of Sydney and senior physician on the Westmead Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit.
"Agents similar to this have been described by the US National Cancer Institute as a 'living drug' because they co-opt the patient's own immune cells to fight the cancer. Remarkable clinical results have been achieved in forms of leukaemia and lymphoma in patients who had exhausted all treatment options".
The HaemaLogiX Pty Ltd (HaemaLogiX) Shareholders Meeting was held on 22 November 2016. The focus of this meeting was to update our shareholders on the progress made since we acquired the Immune System Therapeutics Ltd assets (acquired on 4 March 2015) and the future regarding our next round of fund raising. In all there were 13 shareholders in attendance. These shareholders represented 83% of total issued shares.
The Inaugural HaemaLogiX Shareholders Meeting was held on 8 May 2015. The focus of this meeting was to update our shareholders on the progress made since we acquired the Immune System Therapeutics Ltd assets (acquired on 4 March 2015) and the future with regard to our next round of fund raising. In all there were 13 shareholders in attendance. These shareholders represented 88 % of total issued shares.
HaemaLogiX Pty Ltd, the newly established biotechnology company that is developing treatments for Multiple Myeloma, has announced the appointment of Bryce Carmine in the joint role of Chairman & CEO. As a former Non Executive Board Director of Immune System Therapeutics, Mr Carmine is very familiar with the challenges and opportunities facing the company. HaemaLogiX bought the business and certain assets of ISTL earlier in month.
McGrath Nicol today announced that acting as the Liquidators of Immune System Therapeutics Limited they had sold the business and certain assets of ISTL to HaemaLogiX Pty Ltd.