A subsidiary of Cleveland BioLabs today said it won a contract from the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Industry and Trade to fund clinical development of a drug candidate—the second such contract awarded to a Cleveland BioLabs subsidiary by Russian authorities in eight days.

The latest contract calls for Panacela Labs to receive RUB 149 million (about $4.6 million) from the trade ministry toward development of Mobilan, a cancer vaccine in preclinical studies. The federation has agreed to match Panacela’s funding of Mobilan over a period of about three years, for support of preclinical and clinical studies.

Mobilan is a recombinant adenovirus which expresses both toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) and its agonistic ligand. In animal models, Mobilan has led to constitutive autocrine stimulation of TLR5 signaling, causing strong induction of the innate immune system with subsequent development of adaptive antitumor immune responses.

“Our goal is to advance two of our product candidates into the clinic in the coming year,” Michael Fonstein, Ph.D., Panacela’s CEO and president, said in a statement. “We are honored to partner with the ministry to support a substantial part of our clinical development program.”

Panacela was founded in 2011 as a joint venture between majority owner Cleveland BioLabs and state-run Russian investment firm RUSNANO, in collaboration with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia, and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Panacela is developing a portfolio of treatments in oncology and infectious diseases.

On October 16, Cleveland BioLabs said another subsidiary, BioLab 612, had been awarded RUB 149 million (about $4.6 million) over three years by the trade ministry toward clinical safety and efficacy assessment of Entolimod (CBLB502) in colorectal cancer—with the requirement that BioLab 612 match the funding. Cleveland BioLabs—which wholly owns BioLab 612—said the requirement is expected to be satisfied primarily through its contribution to the subsidiary of patents issued by the Eurasian Patent Organization.

Over the past five years, Cleveland BioLabs said last week, it has secured about $100 million in nondilutive grant and contract awards from the U.S. and overseas governments.

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