EDMONTON, ALBERTA, November 2, 2016 – OncoQuest Inc. (“OncoQuest’), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of immunotherapeutic products for the treatment of cancer, today announces that its Joint Venture Partner in China, OncoVent Co., Ltd. (“OncoVent”) has launched its clinical development program for Anti-MUC1 MAb AR20.5 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Based on the previous clinical experience and recently announced positive pre-clinical data for the application of combinatory immunotherapy in the pancreatic cancer model, OncoVent has signed an agreement with a U.S. based cGMP cell culture bioproduction facility, Cell Culture Company (C3), to manufacture clinical grade MAb AR20.5. The manufactured antibody is intended to be used to support a planned U.S. clinical trial for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, to be followed by additional studies worldwide, including China.
OncoVent is a China based joint venture Company formed by Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Shenzhen Hepalink”) and OncoQuest. OncoVent licensed its Antibody based Immunotherapy Technology from OncoQuest for Greater China territory, and supported by a US $5 million investment by Shenzhen Hepalink and a US $1 million investment by OncoQuest. Dr. Yuenian Shi (Dr. Eric Shi), co-founder of OncoVent have been appointed as its Director and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Shi is a biomedical scientist specializing in cancer research and translational medicine development. He was the Associate Professor and then full Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine between 1994 – 2010, during which he led twelve national research programs funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). In 2010, Dr. Shi returned to China and became Vice President of the Academy of Clinical Research and Translational Medicine at Nanjing Medical University. Dr. Shi has extensive experience in the China Biotechnology industry and is the founder of several bio-medical companies, including most recently: Dawei BioPharma in China, a medical device company specializing in the urinary tract system, and J&Q Diagnosis in China, a medical diagnosis company building a platform of metabolomics focusing on sex hormone metabolism.
OncoVent will be guided by its own experienced Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Li Li, President and Chairman of Shenzhen Hepalink, a major global supplier of clinical grade heparin products. OncoQuest’s representatives to the OncoVent Board include Dr. Eric Shi, CEO of OncoVent, and Dr. Christopher Nicodemus, President of AIT Strategies and Chairman of OncoQuest’s Clinical Advisory Board.
“We are pleased to have the additional resources from OncoVent to initiate the Anti-MUC1 Program” said Dr. Madi Madiyalakan, Chief Executive Officer of Quest and OncoQuest. “We intend to work closely with OncoVent to leverage our extensive immunotherapy clinical experience built upon our oregovoamb program” added Dr. Madiyalakan.
About Anti-MUC1 MAb AR20.5
Anti-MUC1 MAb-AR20.5 is a novel immunotherapeutic drug for investigational use in the treatment of patients with malignancies expressing the tumor-associated antigen known as MUC1. MAb-AR20.5 binds with high affinity to MUC1, recognizing the tandem repeat peptide sequence DTRPAP of the high molecular weight MUC1 glycoprotein. MUC1 is expressed on many adenocarcinomas including pancreatic, breast, lung, colon and prostate as well as in multiple myeloma and this epitope uniquely exposed in malignant cells. A Phase I clinical study has established bioactivity associated with dose and a favorable safety profile. OncoQuest is developing this antibody in conjunction with OncoVent for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
OncoVent Co., Ltd. is a China-based pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of combination immunotherapy for the Greater China market with registered fund of $9,2593 million. OncoVent is focusing on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of anti-MUC1 MAb AR20.5 as a Cancer Immunotherapy Product within China with pancreatic cancer as its first target.
OncoQuest is a subsidiary of Quest PharmaTech Inc. (TSXV-QPT) (“Quest”), and is a privately held, Canadian based pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of immunotherapies for cancer. OncoQuest’s technology platform includes a panel of tumor antigen specific monoclonal immunoglobulins including CA125, MUC1, PSA and Her2/neu; and the application of combinatorial immunotherapy to enhance tumor specific immunity and clinical outcome. OncoQuest’s lead product, oregovomab, is currently undergoing a confirmatory phase IIb clinical trial involving 80 ovarian cancer patients in Italy and the United States. Additional clinical studies are underway or planned for oregovomab in combination with other therapeutic modalities for the treatment of pancreatic and ovarian cancers to identify optimal design for a product registration trial. OncoQuest’s MUC1 program has already undergone a phase I clinical trial in breast cancer patients. OncoQuest’s next-generation products are based on immunoglobulin E licensed from UCLA, Stanford University and Advanced Immune Therapeutics, Inc. These antigen-specific monoclonal IgE antibodies are currently in preclinical development. OncoQuest’s current clinical and preclinical programs are funded by a U.S. $13 Million private placement made to Hepalink USA Inc., a subsidiary of Shenzhen Hepalink.