Advaxis and Ayala Pharmaceuticals | October 20, 2022
Ayala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing and commercializing small molecule therapeutics for patients suffering from rare tumors and aggressive cancers and Advaxis, Inc. a biotechnology company devoted to the discovery, development and commercialization of immunotherapies based on a technology which uses engineered Listeria monocytogenes, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The merger would result in a combined company that will focus predominantly on the development and commercialization of Ayala’s lead program AL102 for the treatment of desmoid tumors and Advaxis’s candidate ADXS-504 in development for prostate cancer.
Kenneth A. Berlin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis, said, “Advaxis took a thorough approach in our quest to find the right partner with the right products. This merger is expected to enhance Advaxis’s portfolio of clinical assets, with Ayala’s proprietary gamma secretase inhibitors that are being developed as targeted therapies for rare and aggressive tumors. Ayala’s lead candidate, AL102, is currently being investigated in the Phase 2/3 RINGSIDE study in desmoid tumors, which we believe will accelerate the stage of product development for the combined company dramatically. We are particularly excited about very promising interim data from RINGSIDE, which showed that AL102 monotherapy had meaningful anti-tumor activity with tumor shrinkage in the majority of patients that appeared to be deepening over time. The combined management team has extensive commercial and R&D experience, and we believe we have the cash to advance the combined portfolio through key milestones in 2023, including longerterm data from Part A of RINGSIDE, clarity on the registration path for AL101 in recurrent/metastatic adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) and initial clinical and PSA data from the Phase 1 trial of ADXS-504 in prostate cancer. We believe that this transaction will also help drive our efforts to return to a Nasdaq listing and enhance our ability to access capital.”
“We are pleased to announce the proposed merger with Advaxis, which is expected to provide our pipeline and AL102 with additional financial resources as well as additional infrastructure in the U.S. The two companies have a shared mission to develop innovative therapies to improve the lives of patients with cancer and I believe we have found a good partner to advance our pipeline and create value for our stakeholders.”
Roni Mamluk, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Ayala
Consummation of the merger is subject to certain closing conditions, including, among other things, approval by the stockholders of Ayala. At the closing of the merger, Ayala will be delisted from The Nasdaq Global Market. The combined company’s common stock is expected to begin trading on the OTCQX at the effective time of the merger, subject to Advaxis’ planned efforts to have the stock of the combined company listed on Nasdaq, as to which no assurances can be made.
About Ayala Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Ayala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing and commercializing small molecule therapeutics for patients suffering from rare tumors and aggressive cancers. Ayala’s approach is focused on predicting, identifying and addressing tumorigenic drivers of cancer through a combination of its bioinformatics platform and next-generation sequencing to deliver targeted therapies to underserved patient populations. The company has two product candidates under development, AL101 and AL102, targeting the aberrant activation of the Notch pathway with gamma secretase inhibitors to treat a variety of tumors, including adenoid cystic carcinoma and desmoid tumors. AL102 has received Fast Track Designation from the U.S. FDA and is currently in the Phase 3 portion of a pivotal study for patients with desmoid tumors. AL101 has received Fast Track Designation and Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. FDA and is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial for patients with ACC bearing Notch activating mutations.
About Advaxis, Inc.
Advaxis, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary Lm-based antigen delivery products. These off-the-shelf immunotherapies are a significant advancement in immunotherapy as they integrate multiple functions into a single therapy by directing antigen presenting cells to stimulate T-cells and other components of the immune system, while reducing tumor protection in the tumor microenvironment, facilitating the elimination of tumors. The company has two programs in the clinic: ADXS-503 for late-stage lung cancer and ADXS-504 for early-stage prostate cancer.
KiOmed Pharma and Hansoh Pharma | September 27, 2022
KiOmed Pharma, a Belgian biotechnology company with a focus on the development, manufacture and distribution of safe and effective medical devices based on a medical-grade highly pure natural chitosan-derivative, and Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group Company Limited a leading biopharmaceutical company in Asia, today announced a license agreement for the development and commercialization of KiOmedinevsOne, a carboxymethyl chitosan injection that has been launched in Europe for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, in China’s mainland, Macau and Taiwan.
Under the terms of the agreement, KiOmed will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestones of up to € 66 million, as well as tiered royalties on future product sales. Hansoh will receive exclusive rights to develop and commercialize KiOmedinevsOne and its future extensions in the territory. KiOmed retains the right to develop and commercialize KiOmedinevsOne in all other global markets.
Osteoarthritis is a progressive and disabling disease affecting about 250 million people worldwide. According to a recent epidemiology report, the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis in China is 8.1%. As the population in China is aging rapidly, disease burden caused by knee osteoarthritis continues to rise while safe and effective treatment options are still lacking.
“We are very excited to partner with Hansoh Pharma, one of the largest biopharmaceutical entities in Greater China. We believe that with Hansoh’s impactful presence in China, their support will be essential to bring this long-acting treatment to the large population of patients suffering from osteoarthritis in China. We launched KiOmedinevsOne last year in several regions of Europe, and the feedback we continue to receive from osteoarthritis patients and physicians is great. With just one single injection to the knee, it can provide symptoms relief including pain, stiffness, and function improvement for more than 6-month. It is the world-first next generation non-animal sourced chitosan injection with a potential safety advantage over animal-sourced chitosan,” added Dr. Houtaï Choumane, CEO and Managing Director of KiOmed.
Mr. François Blondel, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of KiOmed Pharma
“KiOmed is a leader and an expert in developing natural chitosan products to fulfill unmet medical needs in different spaces. Osteoarthritis negatively impacts an individual’s quality of life and creates a large burden for the patients and their families. We are very glad to see KiOmed’s product (KiOmedinevsOne) will help to solve this problem,” said Eliza Sun, Executive Director of the Board of Hansoh Pharma. “We are also very excited to partner with them and bring this unique product to much needed patients in China.”
KiOmedinevsOne is a new generation single injection for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis based on world-first exclusive animal free KiOmedine® CM-Chitosan. KiOmedine® CM-Chitosan is a highly purified polysaccharide derived from Agaricus Bisporus (button mushroom) and a patented technology made in Belgium, resulting from years of research and innovation. Different from hyaluronic acid, KiOmedinevsOne has dual mechanism of action to tackle osteoarthritis discomfort and other symptoms by reducing oxidative stress and enhancing joint lubrication. Clinical studies have shown that after a single injection of KiOmedinevsOne, significant pain reduction was observed within 2 weeks and the WOMAC pain score was reduced by 66%, with a long-lasting osteoarthritis symptom reduction for at least 6 months. KiOmedinevsOne is a regulated health product which bears the CE mark under this regulation. It has been launched in Europe in 2021.
About KiOmed Pharma
Based in Belgium, KiOmed Pharma has a history of innovation and expertise in exclusive natural chitosan chemistry. The company develops a unique pipeline of medical devices that address unmet medical needs in high impact pathologies and major social burdens such as osteoarthritis, skin aging and ophthalmology. KiOmed Pharma's innovative pipeline is based on a solid building block exclusive technology: KiOmedine®, a medical-grade highly pure natural chitosan-derivative.
About Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group
Hansoh Pharma one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in China, is committed to discovering and developing life-changing medicines to help patients conquer serious diseases and disorders.
Merck | September 22, 2022
Merck, a leading science and technology company, announced a collaboration agreement with licensing option with Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l. for the next-generation highly selective and brain-penetrant PARP1 inhibitor, NMS-293. NMS-293 has strong potential in combination with a wide variety of DNA-damaging agents, including systemic or targeted chemotherapy or with DNA damage response inhibitors, in numerous tumor types. NMS-293 is in early clinical development for the treatment of patients with BRCA-mutated tumors as a single agent and in combination with temozolomide in recurrent glioblastoma.
“Building on the therapeutic impact that PARP inhibitors have had over the last several years, we believe this new PARP1 program, if successful, could fill a significant unmet need for patients unresponsive to existing PARP inhibitors with an improved hematological adverse event profile. The work of NMS to discover and advance this next generation PARP1 selective inhibitor coupled with our deep expertise in developing therapies which modify DNA damage response mechanisms, creates a strong foundation to further develop this investigational therapy for patients.”
Victoria Zazulina, M.D., Head of Development Unit Oncology for the Healthcare business of Merck
PARP is key in the repair of DNA damage, and PARP inhibitors have been shown to be highly efficacious in the treatment of patients with tumors deficient in homologous recombination repair, such as breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancers with BRCA-mutations.
Under the current agreement, Merck will make early payments (up-front and option exercise fees) of up to $65 million to NMS. Furthermore, NMS will receive payments for the achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones and tiered royalties on net sales by Merck. Upon exercise of the option, NMS will grant to Merck the exclusive rights to research, develop, manufacture, and commercialize NMS-293.
During the option period, NMS and Merck will collaborate on the clinical development of NMS-293, with NMS designing, sponsoring, conducting, and funding global clinical trials.
NMS-293 is an orally available small molecule inhibitor of PARP1 and is currently in early clinical development for the treatment of patients with BRCA mutated tumors as single agent and with recurrent Glioblastoma (GBM), a brain tumor with very high medical need, in combination with temozolomide (TMZ).
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. More than 60,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck generated sales of € 19.7 billion in 66 countries.