Batu Biologics, a immuno-oncology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapies that target the blood vessels of tumors, recently announced the completion of a seed funding round worth $1 million, putting the company closer to advancing its battle against lung cancer. To attain this fundraising objective, the company leveraged primarily private and angel funding.
“The completion of this seed round of financing marks a critical inflection point in the development of our company and our lead program, ValloVax,” said Samuel C. Wagner, President and CEO of Batu Biologics. “Our strategy revolves around rapid clinical development, and we hope to soon realize the therapeutic potential of combining angiogenesis inhibition with the power of immunotherapy.”
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 158,040 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer in 2015, accounting for approximately 27 percent of all cancer deaths.
Batu Biologics is targeting non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as the first treatment indication for ValloVax™, with expanded indications to follow. Currently, Batu Biologics is seeking to complete the development and characterization of ValloVax™, completing the pre-clinical testing and preparing and filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application in anticipation of a Phase I clinical trial for lung cancer.
ValloVax stimulates the immune system to attack multiple pathways necessary for angiogenesis, having the potential for superior efficacy and specificity in comparison with existing drugs. ValloVax is differentiated from current anti-angiogenic therapies because it stimulates the direct immune system killing of the tumor endothelium while existing tyrosine-kinase inhibitors merely block the VEGF pathway – slowing the angiogenic process at best.
In preclinical studies, the platform was found to inhibit new blood vessel formation in melanoma, breast and lung cancer mouse models.
The company published the results from pre-clinical studies for ValloVax in The Journal of Translational Medicine. The article describes the viability and potential ways to induce immunity against the tumor endothelium. The article also describes the results of safety and efficacy analysis of the ValloVax platform.
“Batu Biologics would like to thank its investors, shareholders and collaborators who are supporting our efforts to bring our immune-therapeutic, ValloVax, into clinical trials,” said Alan Lewis, Chairman of Batu Biologics. “Harnessing and directing the immune system is changing the way we treat cancer. Our Team is focused on developing cutting-edge therapeutics that take a whole new approach to battling this terrible disease by blocking the mechanisms that feed the tumor. We aim to make a difference in the lives of patients in need of less toxic therapeutics.”