SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cold Genesys Inc., a clinical-stage oncolytic immunotherapy company, today announced the successful completion of a Series B financing co-led by Ally Bridge Group and WI Harper Group with participation from Whitesun Healthcare Ventures and Song Hong Fang. The insider-initiated $10 million Series B financing will advance Cold Genesys' investigational oncolytic immunotherapy CG0070 in a pivotal study (BOND II) that is currently enrolling 122 patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) who have failed first-line BCG therapy. In addition, proceeds from this financing will be used to develop the combination of CG0070 with immune checkpoint modulators in multiple Phase I/II studies for different solid tumor indications.
CG0070 is an investigational oncolytic immunotherapy designed to selectively replicate in tumors (but not normal tissue) and to elicit an immune response against cancer cells.
Mr. Peter Liu, Chairman of WI Harper Group commented, "WI Harper is excited to partner with Cold Genesys, as they seek to revolutionize the advancement of modern cancer treatment. Cold Genesys' world-leading technology and talented management team will continue to leverage its oncolytic cancer immunotherapy to gain a dominate position in the bladder cancer space, and selectively drive expansion into other cancer types. We look forward to partnering with Cold Genesys to build a world class company." Mr. Liu further said, "We believe that CG0070 has potential to help patients in several cancer types based on its mechanism of action to promote tumor antigen release and presentation, resulting in an activation of a durable and systemic anti-tumor immune response in patients."
"The recent success and approvals of immune checkpoint modulation therapies bring new hope to cancer patients; however, still only 20% of late stage patients respond to such therapies in a meaningful way, such as a complete or a durable response," said Alex Yeung, MBBS, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Cold Genesys. "We are committed to help more cancer patients benefit from cancer immunotherapies. We believe that the scientific and clinical rationale for combining CG0070 and immune checkpoint modulators is sound: to first activate an anti-tumor immune response with CG0070 and to block T cell checkpoints to potentially increase the anti-tumor activity relative to each agent alone."
In conjunction with the financing, Arthur Kuan, a founding member of Ally Bridge Group and Chief Operating Officer of Cold Genesys, will join the Cold Genesys Board of Directors.
CG0070 is an investigational oncolytic immunotherapy based on a modified common cold virus backbone that contains a cancer-specific promoter and a GM-CSF transgene. CG0070 was designed to work in two important and complementary ways. First, it replicates inside the tumor's cells causing tumor cell lysis and immunogenic cell death. Then, the rupture of the cancer cells can release tumor-derived antigens, along with GM-CSF, that can stimulate a systemic anti-tumor immune response that involves the body's own white blood cells.
The scientific rationale and clinical profile of CG0070 makes it an ideal agent to be developed for a variety of solid tumor types in combination with immune checkpoint modulators.
About Cold Genesys Inc.
Cold Genesys, Inc. is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the development of oncolytic immunotherapies to combat cancer. In 2010, Cold Genesys acquired exclusive worldwide rights to develop CG0070 from BioSante Pharmaceuticals. CG0070 is currently under investigation in a Phase II, single-arm, open-label, pivotal study (BOND II) for patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) who have failed BCG therapy and refused cystectomy. In addition, Cold Genesys is exploring the use of CG0070 in combination with immune checkpoint modulators in different solid tumors.
For more information, please visit: www.coldgenesys.com
About Ally Bridge Group
Ally Bridge Group, founded and led by Frank Yu, is a global healthcare-focused, multi-stage investment platform with bases in Hong Kong and the United States. Ally Bridge Group and its affiliates manage over US$1 billion in assets in China, the United States, and Europe, and have expertise in cementing strategic partnerships between emerging healthcare companies and industry leaders, and across different geographies, especially between the United States and China.
About WI Harper Group
WI Harper is a global venture capital firm managing US$850 million of invested capital through dedicated professionals located in San Francisco, Beijing, and Taipei. Founded in 1996 by venture capital pioneer Peter Liu, the firm has built a fully integrated platform dedicated to investing in the U.S and Greater China. The Firm targets early-stage technology and healthcare companies using a disciplined research-focused approach, while combining value add strategies to best assist entrepreneurs in expanding across global markets. To date, WI Harper has deployed capital into over 300 investments across eight funds and seen in excess of 80 successful liquidity events.