-- Proceeds to advance clinical evaluation of lead candidate INT-1B3 and further preclinical drug candidates towards the clinic --
InteRNA Technologies announced today the closing of an extended Series B financing round amounting to EUR 18.5M in total. This Series B round was led by AurorA Science, an Italian biotech investment company, along with existing investor Waterman Ventures. Current shareholders Aglaia Oncology Funds and OostNL also contributed to the financing round. The funding will enable the clinical evaluation of the Company's microRNA lead candidate, INT-1B3, in patients with advanced solid tumors. Furthermore, the proceeds will be used to develop and advance additional proprietary preclinical drug candidates adressing a variety of cancer indications thereby expanding the Company's pipeline. As part of the Series B financing, Gabriele Campi, PhD, of AurorA Science will join the Board of Directors.
"This successful extension of the Series B financing round validates the unique potential that microRNAs offer as a therapeutic modality for hard-to-treat cancers," said Dr. Roel Schaapveld, CEO of InteRNA Technologies. "We thank AurorA Science, Waterman Ventures and our other long-term investors for their support in bringing our microRNA technology into the clinic and look forward to evaluate INT-1B3's unique mode of action, targeting not only the tumor cells themselves but also the disease-promoting tumor microenvironment."
"With this participation in InteRNA Technologies, AurorA Science continues its strong commitment into front-edge science," commented Guido Guidi, Chairman at AurorA Science. "We believe InteRNA has developed a promising innovative technology in this area and look forward to supporting the team on their path forward."
microRNAs are naturally occurring, non-coding strands of RNA that trigger the RNA interference pathway and regulate gene expression by controlling the efficiency of messenger RNA (mRNA) translation into functional proteins. InteRNA designs breakthrough therapies tackling cancer by using the inherent characteristic of microRNAs to simultaneously inhibit multiple mRNA targets in a coordinated fashion, e.g. by blocking activated cancer signaling pathways and preventing activation of alternative disease-promoting pathways.
INT-1B3's unique mechanism of action addresses multiple hallmarks of cancer simultaneously. It directly targets tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment by specific modulation of multiple signaling pathway components across the PTEN tumor suppressor pathway and the oncogenic PI3K/Akt and Ras/MAPK pathways resulting in inhibition of proliferation and migration and induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The triggering of the immunogenic tumor cell death (ICD) process as well as downregulation of the adenosine-A2A receptor pathway through inhibition of CD39/CD73 leads to a decrease in immunosuppressive FoxP3/Lag3 regulatory T cells and monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (mMDSCs). As a result, the immune system is activated, and long-term immunity is triggered by recruitment of CD8 effector T cells leading to decreased metastasis development and improved animal survival compared to anti-PD1 treatment. The created T cell-mediated immune response activity is also transferrable to naive mice via adoptive T cell transfer.
About InteRNA Technologies
InteRNA is a Dutch clinical-stage biotech company developing a pipeline of proprietary microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics targeting key processes in initiation and progression of human diseases, with a focus on cancer. Selected through InteRNA's leading miRNA discovery and functional validation platform and enabled with a 3rd generation drug delivery formulation, these miRNA compounds can mount a coordinated anti-cancer attack by engaging multiple signal transduction targets simultaneously. With this approach, we address the high need for novel therapeutics with improved efficacy and less prone to drug-acquired resistance that will benefit cancer patients.
About AurorA Science
AurorA Science (www.aurorascience.eu) is a biotech investment company integrating an innovative financial and industrial approach in the research and development challenge. The company is focused on independent and entrepreneurial biotech start-ups in Europe with high therapeutic potential, providing industrial and financial support.
About Waterman Ventures
Waterman Ventures invests in ambitious technology companies that combine a positive impact on society with a healthy financial return. Over the last 30 years, we have been a long term partner to many successful businesses. Our team, based in the Netherlands, shares a passion for technology and a hands-on mindset to support growth in our portfolio companies.
Dr. Roel Schaapveld, CEO
Phone: +31 (0)30 760 7621
Marie Weickert or Stephanie May
Phone: +49 89 2388 7733