iCo Therapeutics Announces Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results

On August 31, 2020 iCo Therapeutics Inc. (TSXV: ICO) (OTCQB: ICOTF) ("iCo" or "the Company")reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 (Press release, iCo Therapeutics, AUG 31, 2020, View Source [SID1234565218]). Amounts, unless specified otherwise, are expressed in Canadian dollars and presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS").

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Stated William Jarosz, CEO of iCo Therapeutics Inc., "Our Q2 results show a marked quarter over quarter decline in our operating expenses compared to Q1, having substantially completed our Australian Phase 1b trial in Q1. During the quarter, we continued to work closely with our partner Alexion in advancing our iCo-008 program despite the global Covid 19 pandemic."

Q2 2020 Operational and Financial Highlights

On April 15, 2020, the iCo announced pharmacokinetic results from the Phase 1b study. The oral Amphotericin B at the 100 mg dose achieved a median plasma Cmax of 25 ng AmB/mL and AUC (0-inf) 990 hr* ng/mL after day 1 of dosing and a median plasma Cmax of 44 ng AmB/mL and AUC (0-inf) 1998 hr*ng/mL after 10 day of dosing. This approximate doubling of the AUC (0-inf) measure between day 1 and day 10 was observed not only at the 100 mg dose but at the 400 mg dose as well.

On July 30, 2020, iCo announced the publication of results of their Oral Amphotericin B (iCo 019) Phase 1a Study in one of the leading infectious diseases journals, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy entitled "Phase I Clinical Study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of a novel oral amphotericin B formulation (ICO-019) in healthy human subjects". In January 2020, the assignment of the IMMUNE sublicense to Alexion was completed. Under the terms of the assignment, Alexion was required to pay US$6 million into the Court in the settlement of IMMUNE’s creditor claims in exchange for IMMUNE’s rights under the IMMUNE License Agreement.

Financial results for Quarter ended June 30, 2020

We incurred a total comprehensive loss of $336,468 for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 compared to a total comprehensive loss of $386,359 for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, representing a decreased loss of $49,891. The decrease in the loss is primarily the result of lower research and development expenses and lower general and administrative expenses recognized in the quarter ended June 30,2020.

Research and development expenses were $76,886 for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 compared to $156,333 for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, representing a decrease of $79,447. The decrease is related to lower intellectual property costs in the quarter ended June 30, 2020.

The Phase 1b trial was substantially completed in the prior quarter with minimal Phase1b expenses recognized in the current quarter. The Phase 1b trial was conducted in Australia, which provides refundable tax credits for qualifying research and development activities conducted there. The refundable tax credit is calculated at 43.5% of the qualifying expenditures and the Company recognized $161,867 in other income as its estimate of the tax refund related to qualifying expenditures for the six month period ended June 30, 2020.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2020 general and administrative expenses were $169,765 compared to $241,512 for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, representing a decrease of $71,747. The decrease reflects lower consulting and professional fees during the period. The Company’s participation in the IMMUNE bankruptcy process last year caused an increase in consulting and professional fees in the prior year.

Liquidity and Outstanding Share Capital

As at June 30, 2020, we had cash and cash equivalents of $365,824 compared to $989,937 as at December 31, 2019.

As at August 31, 2020, we had an unlimited number of authorized common shares with 153,747,713 common shares issued and outstanding.

Immutep and Monash University Receive Grant Funding for LAG-3 Project

On August 31, 2020 Immutep Limited (ASX: IMM; NASDAQ: IMMP) reported that the Australian Research Council (ARC) has awarded Immutep and research partner Monash University a A$671,427 grant under the ARC‘s Linkage Project scheme to support their research collaboration into Lymphocyte Activation Gene-3 (LAG-3) for a further three years (Press release, Immutep, AUG 31, 2020, View Source [SID1234564240]).

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The collaboration between Immutep and Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) commenced in 2017 and the parties have been investigating the structure of LAG-3 and how it binds to its main ligand, MHC Class II. This new funding will allow further investigation and provide insights into the way LAG-3 controls T cell function, and may ultimately lead to the development of a new generation of innovative medicines for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases or infectious diseases.

ARC Laureate Fellow at the Monash BDI, Professor Jamie Rossjohn, said: "We thank the ARC for the continued funding to support our collaboration with Immutep. Through the partnership, we are able to combine the state-of-the-art structural biology facilities we have here at the BDI with the expertise of Dr Triebel, who is the pioneer of the LAG-3 immune checkpoint. This is important work and we look foward to furthering our understanding of LAG-3 structure and function."

Immutep‘s CSO and CMO, Dr Frederic Triebel, also welcomed the grant and said: "We have been very pleased to collaborate on this project alongside one of the leading international groups in structural immunology led by Professor Rossjohn. We look foward to continuing our studies into LAG-3 and are most grateful, of course, for the support of the ARC."

The title of the new grant is "Investigating the atomic structure of an immune cell inhibitory receptor" and will be conducted over a three year period. Professor Rossjohn will have overall oversight of the project and will be responsible for resources management of the grant. As the leading global authority on LAG-3, Dr Triebel will provide his expertise and facilitate access to relevant LAG-3 specific constructs, reagents and antibodies directed against LAG-3. Immutep will also make a financial contribution towards the study.

Adlai Nortye Raises $100 Million for Immunoncology Portfolio

On August 31, 2020 Adlai Nortye Biopharma of Hangzhou reported that it raised nearly $100 million in a C financing to support development of its immunoncology portfolio (Press release, Adlai Nortye Biopharma, AUG 31, 2020, View Source [SID1234564216]). Founded in 2016, the company has three candidates in clinical trials and at least ten more undergoing pre-clinical tests. The fundraising was led by Hangzhou Tigermed and Yingke Capital. Because it targets global markets, Adlai Nortye has established a US R&D and clinical operations center in New Jersey, in addition to its China facilities.

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Pyramid Biosciences Secures $28 Million in Funding to Accelerate Clinical Programs

On August 31, 2020 Pyramid Biosciences, Inc., a Boston-based biotechnology company developing new precision therapies focused on the modulation of cell surface receptors, reported the close of $28 million USD in funding (Press release, Pyramid Biosciences, AUG 31, 2020, View Source [SID1234564208]). The financing will accelerate the growth of Pyramid Biosciences’ programs focused on novel tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) modulators in oncology and dermatology disorders.

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The funding round was supported by Adage Capital Management, Averill Master Fund, Ltd., J.W. Childs Associates L.P. as well as several other investors.

"We are extremely pleased to have the support of these established investor groups, helping us progress both our scientific development programs and our business strategy," said Pyramid Biosciences’ Co-Founders, Jordan Leef and Kollol Pal, PhD. "We could not be more proud of what we have accomplished nor more excited about the future for our TRK programs."

Pyramid Biosciences’ oncology candidate, PBI-200, is a best-in-class, orally-active TRK inhibitor. Moreover, PBI-200 is a highly brain-penetrant agent which overcomes the acquired clinical resistance mutations that are observed with current TRK inhibitor therapies. Pyramid Biosciences is developing PBI-200 to treat a broad range of genomically-defined solid tumor cancers, including primary and metastatic brain cancers.

PBI-100 is a first-in-class, selective TRK modulator which contains anti-itch, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative effects. Pyramid Biosciences is developing PBI-100 for a range of dermatological and inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Applied BioMath, LLC Announces Collaboration with Flame Biosciences for Systems Pharmacology Modeling in Lung Cancer

On August 31, 2020 Applied BioMath (www.appliedbiomath.com), the industry-leader in applying systems pharmacology and mechanistic modeling, simulation, and analysis to de-risk drug research and development, reported a collaboration with Flame Biosciences (Press release, Applied BioMath, AUG 31, 2020, View Source [SID1234564207]). Flame Biosciences selected Applied BioMath to develop systems pharmacology models for Flame Bioscience’s leading therapeutic for the treatment of cancers that are driven by inflammation. "Our collaboration with Applied BioMath will enable us to leverage systems pharmacology modeling to aid in the prediction of clinical efficacious dose for our therapeutic," said Leonid Gorelik, SVP Discovery & Translational Science at Flame Biosciences. "We chose Applied BioMath based on their proven track record of helping to accelerate therapeutics to the clinic."

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Applied BioMath employs a rigorous fit-for-purpose model development process which quantitatively integrates knowledge about therapeutics with an understanding of its mechanism of action in the context of human disease mechanisms. Their approach employs proprietary algorithms and software that were designed specifically for systems pharmacology model development, simulation, and analysis. "Traditional mathematical approaches used for predicting clinical efficacious doses that are typically used for small molecule therapeutics do not work well for most biologics," said Dr. John Burke, PhD, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Applied BioMath. "Systems pharmacology models have proven more accurate in translating biologics across preclinical data and species and predicting clinical efficacious doses due to the biological and mechanistic detail included in the model. We are very excited and look forward to assisting Flame Biosciences as they advance their therapeutic."