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GEN News Highlights : Dec 23, 2011

Alopexx, Provenance Ink $8M Deal for Anticancer Immunotherapeutic

Firms will establish company to continue development of Provenance’s Phase I-stage DI-Leu16-IL2 against hematologic cancers.

Alopexx Enterprises has agreed to an $8 million financing deal with Provenance Biopharmaceuticals’ to facilitate development of the latter’s early clinical-stage lead anticancer candidate DI-Leu16-IL2. The firms are in addition establishing a new company, Alopexx Oncology, to manage development of the drug.

DI-Leu16-IL2 is a de-immunized form of an anti-CD20 antibody, Leu16, genetically fused to interleukin 2 (IL2). The immunotherapeutic is being studied for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other forms of hematological cancer and is currently in an investigator-sponsored Phase I trial.

Provenance acquired exclusive global rights to develop DI-Leu16-IL2 from Merck Serono, in 2009. The molecule was developed using immunocytokine technology invented by Provenance founder, Stephen D. Gillies, Ph.D., and previously licensed to Merck Serono.

Established earlier this year, Alopexx Enterprises is a healthcare company focused on acquiring and developing preclinical and early clinical compounds, with a focus on infectious diseases, oncology, and CNS.