VBL Therapeutics won an ILS8.75 (approximately $2.5 million) grant from the Israel Innovation Authority to support continued clinical development of the firm’s lead Phase III-stage gene therapy ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111). The antiangiogenic candidate is being evaluated in a pivotal Phase III GLOBE study in patients with recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM) under an FDA Special Protocol Assessment. Phase II studies with VB-111 have previously been carried out in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and differentiated thyroid cancer indications.The gene therapy is administered as an IV infusion once every two months.
VBL says the grant will fund clinical trials and development activities for the 2017 calendar year. “The continuous financial support for the VB-111 program is an important contribution to our ability to execute on our plans into 2019, as we prepare for the commercialization of VB-111 and establish our new manufacturing site,” commented Dror Harats, M.D., CEO at VBL Therapeutics. “We believe this nondilutive grant for the VB-111 program underscores the confidence that the Innovation Authority has in our technology and its potential for commercialization.”
Vascular Biogenics Ltd., operating as VBL Therapeutics, is developing a portfolio of anticancer and anti-inflammatory programs based on its proprietary Vascular Targeting System™ (VTS) and lecinoxoid platforms. VB-111 is an antiangiogenic, adenovirus 5 vector-based gene therapy developed using the VTS technology.
VBL is, in addition, developing a series of orally available, small-molecule lecinoxoid compounds that exhibit immune modulating anti-inflammatory properties for treating chronic immune-related conditions. An exploratory Phase II study with lead lecinoxoid candidate VB-201 indicated that the compound reduces vascular inflammation in atherosclerosis. During April, VBL separately presented data from a retrospective analysis of Phase II studies indicating that oral administration of VB-201 reduces levels of liver enzymes. The firm said the data support the potential use of lecinoxoids for liver-related indications, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).