Faron Pharmaceuticals announces that its Board of Directors has expanded the development strategy for Clevegen, its novel cancer immunotherapy drug candidate. As announced on 19 April 2016, Faron recently filed patents that have opened up new application opportunities for Clevegen in conditions where removal of suppression of local or systemic immunity is desirable.
Faron will now aim to extend the range of Clevegen indications through a technology platform called “Tumour Immunity Enabling Technology” or TIET, which can be used alone or in combination with other immune checkpoint molecules.
The Directors believe that Clevegen’s ability to convert protumoural M2 macrophages to pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages could help the human body’s own immune system to combat cancer and significantly differentiates it from competing products.
At the same time, the removal of immune suppression caused by M2 macrophages could provide a significant boost to the efficacy of other immune checkpoint molecules already in use or under development. Faron intends to develop Clevegen in-house for immune dependent cancers such as hepatocellular carcinoma and other cancers known to depend on tumour-associated macrophages (TAM). In addition the strategic decision by Faron to leverage the TIET technology platform may allow licensing opportunities and wider use of Clevegen as part of combination cancer therapies, maximizing the value to cancer patients.
Dr Markku Jalkanen, CEO of Faron, said: “We have made significant progress with Clevegen this Spring, culminating in development of the new TIET technology platform. We will intensify our efforts in commercializing the TIET technology globally while also initiating our own cancer treatment programme. We will report these plans at our R&D day on 14 June, as announced on 13 May 2016, and welcome all interested parties to join the London event.”
The TIET technology could significantly enhance lymphocyte activation programmes enabling them to be more effective in their fight against cancer cells, making TIET attractive to potential collaborators and licensing partners. Faron was granted €1.5 million funding from Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, in December 2015 to progress the preclinical development of Clevegen.