Apogenix Receives €3 Million Grant for the Development of a Companion Diagnostic Test for Lead Immuno-Oncology Candidate APG101
Apogenix, a biopharmaceutical company developing next generation immuno-oncology therapeutics, announced today that it has received funding approval in the amount of €3 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for the so-called CancerMark project. The funds will be used for the further development of lead immuno-oncology candidate APG101 as a personalized therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma. The goal of the CancerMark project is to confirm the efficacy of APG101 in an additional clinical trial and validate a companion diagnostic test to analyze the biomarker associated with the CD95 ligand
The efficacy of CD95 ligand inhibitor APG101 has been demonstrated in a controlled phase II proof-of-concept trial in patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Glioblastoma patients expressing a certain biomarker associated with the CD95 ligand experienced the greatest benefit from treatment with APG101. The median overall survival rate in biomarker-positive patients treated with APG101 more than doubled to 16 months compared to patients treated with radiotherapy alone.
“The CancerMark grant represents an important contribution to the development of our lead immuno-oncology candidate APG101 as a personalized therapy,” said Thomas Hoeger, Ph.D., CEO of Apogenix. “Apogenix has now raised more than €11 million in public grants for the development of innovative protein therapeutics to treat cancer and other malignant diseases. The upcoming clinical trial to confirm the companion diagnostic test is an important milestone toward approval of APG101 for the treatment of glioblastoma, so patients can benefit from a personalized treatment approach.”
Apogenix’ main partner for the CancerMark project is R-Biopharm. In July 2015, Apogenix and R-Biopharm entered into a cooperation to develop companion diagnostic tests for APG101. The CancerMark project was initiated in February 2016, and the funding period is three years.
Apogenix develops innovative immuno-oncology therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other malignant diseases. The company has built a promising pipeline of immuno-oncology drug candidates that target different tumor necrosis factor superfamily (TNFSF)-dependent signaling pathways, thereby restoring the immune response against tumors. Since its inception in fall 2005, Apogenix has raised more than 90 million euros in financing rounds, public grants, as well as upfront and milestone payments from licensing agreements. The company is based in Heidelberg, Germany.
Apogenix’ lead immuno-oncology candidate APG101 is a fully human fusion protein that consists of the extracellular domain of the CD95 receptor and the Fc domain of an IgG antibody. APG101 is being developed for the treatment of solid tumors and malignant hematological diseases. By blocking the CD95 ligand, APG101 restores the immune response against tumors and inhibits invasive tumor cell growth. APG101 has demonstrated statistically significant efficacy in a controlled phase II proof-of-concept trial in recurrent glioblastoma. Patients with a certain biomarker experienced the greatest benefit from treatment with APG101. Apogenix is developing a companion diagnostic test based on this biomarker, so APG101 can be used as a personalized therapy.
Thomas Hoeger, Ph.D., CEO
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M.D. Raimund Gabriel
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