The Missouri-based contract research organisation (CRO) ABC has been helping develop Immunophotonics’ lead product inCVAX – a candidate vaccine for solid tumours - for several years in a services agreement.
The CRO’s decision to continue this work in exchange for stock reflects Immunophotonics’ confidence in ABC’s ability “to continue to provide the highest quality analytical support for our inCVAX project” according to the biotech's chief drug development officer, Joe Raker.
ABC CEO John Bucksath was similarly enthusiastic about the partnership; describing Immunophotonics’ approach to treating cancer as having “has great potential to help patients in need.”
Immunophotonics’ lead product is part of a two injection cancer treatment. The first shot is used to guide a fibre optic cable that targets a laser that heats the tumour, which prompts it to release antigens.
A second injection then delivers a glucosamine polymer - called N-dihydro-galacto-chitosan (GC) - that activates immune cells, exposing them to the tumour antigens thereby generating a tumour specific T-cell response.
The glucosamine polymer is also called Protectin, which is derived from a type of glucose called chitin found in crustacean shells.
inCVAX has already been examined in Phase II clinical trials in Peru and the Bahamas.
ABC joins existing Immunophotonics backers Cultivation Capital, St. Louis Arch Angels, Billiken Angels and the Missouri Technology Corporation, which took part in a $2.48m (€2.2m) Series A financing round in January.
At the time Immunophotonics said it would use the cash to fund trials in Latin America and the US.
ABC also holds stock in cancer drug firm Euclises Pharmaceuticals – which is developing COX-2 inhibitors - through an investment made last September last.