30.08.2013 Moscow – August 26, 2013 –
Inbio ventures, a management company representing Pharmstandard International S.A., headed the consortium of investors from North America, Europe, Russia and Korea, to secure $42.5 million in a Series E financing for Argos Therapeutics Inc., based in Durham, NC, USA. The funds will be used for the company's ongoing pivotal Phase 3 ADAPT clinical study of AGS-003 for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).
Pharmstandard International S.A., which has provided the major part of the funding, is a holding company fully committed by the #1 pharmaceutical company in Russia, OJSC Pharmstandard (LSE: PHST).
Argos is the leading developer of fully personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases based on its proprietary technology platform, Arcelis™.
In addition to equity investment, Pharmstandard and its biotechnological R&D ally, Generium, are also becoming strategic co-development partners with Argos. The joint effort will include development of further improvements, applications and treatment options based on Arcelis technology, as well as commercialization of the lead product, AGS-003, at the territory of Russia/CIS. Alexander Shuster,
President of Inbio Ventures, said, "Arcelis technology is truly a next horizon in dendritic cell therapy – a promising area with great potential, which however has been neglected by most investors since Dendreon's failure to meet the market expectations. We were impressed with Argos science, management team and progress of its clinical trials in both cancer and HIV".
The other new investor included in this financing round was Green Cross Corporation of Seoul, Korea (006280:Korean Stock Exchange), as well as existing investors, including Forbion Capital, TVM Capital, Lumira Capital, Intersouth Partners, Caisse de depot et placement de Quebec, Morningside Group and Aurora Funds. Green Cross has also secured commercialization rights for the territory of Korea. AbouttheArcelis™ TechnologyPlatform
Arcelis is a fully personalized, active immunotherapy technology that captures all antigens, including mutated and variant antigens that are specific to each patient's disease. It has been shown to overcome immunosuppression by producing a durable memory T-cell response without adjuvants that are associated with toxicity. The technology can be leveraged to manufacture personalized therapies for any cancer or infectious disease.
The Arcelis process integrates readily into many current treatment paradigms, using only a small tumor or blood sample and the patient's own dendritic cells, which are derived and optimized following a single leukapheresis procedure. The proprietary process uses RNA isolated from the patient sample to program the dendritic cells to target the entire disease-antigen repertoire. The activated, antigen-loaded dendritic cells are then formulated into the patient's plasma and administered as an intradermal injection to produce the desired patient-specific immune response.
Arcelis technology also overcomes many of the manufacturing and commercialization challenges that have impeded other personalized cancer immunotherapies. Automated processes allow a single facility to serve all of North America and can be used to treat any cancer or infectious disease with the same manufacturing process and equipment.
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