Philadelphia, PA, September 17, 2019 -- Navrogen, Inc. announced today that it has raised $3.2M in convertible note financing to support its operations, Humoral Immuno-Oncology (HIO) discovery platform and preclinical therapeutic pipeline activities. The financing was led by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of South Eastern Pennsylvania and a number of private investors.
Previous clinical studies have confirmed that tumors produce immune checkpoint factors that can suppress a patient’s immune response to dysregulated cancer cells. The most commonly studied factors have been those that suppress activation of CD8+ T-cells. The therapeutic and commercial success of antagonists against a subset of these checkpoint inhibitors has fueled the industry’s interest for developing additional drug candidates that can reverse immuno-suppressive mechanisms against T-cells. Alternatively, humoral immunity, which relies on antibody and complement mediated immune responses against dysregulated cancer cells, has recently been found to be suppressed by tumor-produced proteins, referred to as Humoral Immuno-Oncology (HIO) factors. These factors suppress patient’s endogenous humoral responses as well as the pharmacologic effects of antibody-based therapies such as Rituxan® and Herceptin®. Navrogen’s mission uniquely focuses on therapeutic solutions to reverse the immuno-suppressive mechanisms mediated by HIO-factors through proprietary screening platforms that identify tumor-derived proteins with HIO-factor activity as well as develop agents that can overcome a HIO-factor’s immuno-suppressive effects.
“Our HIO-factor discovery platforms have enabled us to identify a number of tumor-produced proteins that can suppress a patient’s endogenous humoral immune response against cancer cells as well as suppress the therapeutic efficacy of antibody-based drugs,” stated Nicholas Nicolaides, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at Navrogen. “Importantly, we have been able to leverage these platforms to develop a pipeline of preclinical agents that can overcome their immuno-suppressive effects and are advancing these agents towards clinical trials.”
Luigi Grasso, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Navrogen added, “It appears that the mechanism of tumor-mediated humoral immuno-suppression is broadly present in a number of cancer types. We are taking on the challenge to develop a new class of anti-cancer therapies for patients whose cancers are associated with elevated HIO-factors and are therefore in need of new medical options”
The use of proceeds, in addition to grant funding, will be used to expand Navrogen’s HIO-factor library and support preclinical development activities around its therapeutic pipeline.
NavrogenTM Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery of tumor produced HIO-factors that are associated with cancer prognosis and therapeutic response of immune-mediated anti-cancer therapies. Our mission is to develop diagnostic assays that can identify patients whose tumors produce HIO-factors to advise physicians on therapeutic options as well as develop first-in-class agents that can overcome the immuno-suppressive effects of a specific HIO-factor.
Investor Inquiries: Nicholas Nicolaides (CEO), firstname.lastname@example.org +1 (610)-660-1931
Media Inquiries: Steve Kyriakos (VP of Finance & Operations), email@example.com +1 (610)-660-1927