Irish company Inflection sells cancer drug to Singapore group

Dublin pharma development company’s drug blocks pathways used by cancer cells

Inflection Biosciences co-founder Dr Michael O’Neill, chief executive Darren Cunningham and Prof Bryan Hennessy, senior clinical lecturer at the Royal College of Surgeons. Photograph: Julien Behal

Inflection Biosciences co-founder Dr Michael O’Neill, chief executive Darren Cunningham and Prof Bryan Hennessy, senior clinical lecturer at the Royal College of Surgeons. Photograph: Julien Behal

 

Irish drug development company Inflection Biosciences has signed a global deal for their leading cancer medicine candidate.

Its therapy aims to shut down three separate pathways commonly used by cancer cells to spread with a single molecule, called a kinase inhibitor. Inflection says it has been shown to have potential in tackling breast cancer, lung cancer, leukaemia and neuroblastoma.

AUM Biosciences is a Singapore-based biotechnology company that focuses on developing affordable cancer therapies, especially for areas with high unmet medical need in Asia.

The agreement will see AUM, develop Inflection’s drug, called IBL-302, which will be renamed AUM302. The Singapore company plans to start the process of securing permission to begin clinical trials for the drug in humans in 2020.

Under the deal, the Irish company will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, as well as milestone payments as it hits certain steps along the development path along with royalties on future sales.

Regulatory approval

Darren Cunningham, the co-founder and chief executive of Inflection, said the company was pleased to team up with AUM, “who will bring considerable drug-development experience and expertise to ensure AUM302 is advanced towards regulatory approval in Asia and globally”.

Mr Cunningham and his co-founder Dr Michael O’Neill first found AUM302 in a pipeline of molecules they licensed from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in 2013, having previously looked at the potential of up to 150 other options.

Vishal Doshi, chief executive of AUM, said his company was committed to accelerating the development of drugs with high potential for the benefit of patients in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.

“Our collaboration with Inflection Biosciences is an important milestone in further realising this commitment,” he said.

Inflection was advised on the transaction by New York-based Oncology Partners.