Geneos expands its lead program for treating patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma
Geneos adds to its leadership team
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., March 3, 2021 — Geneos Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company focused on the development of tumor neoantigen targeted personalized immunotherapies for cancer, announced today that it has closed its Series A1 round, raising $12 million in financing. The financing was led by Korea Investment Partners (KIP) – Global Bio Fund with strong participation from all existing Series A investors including, notably, Santé Ventures and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO). The new investment follows the previously announced initial financing of $10.5 million in February 2019. In conjunction with the financing, Mr. Sangwoo Lee, Managing Director Korea Investment Partners – USA Inc. joined Geneos’ Board of Directors.
“Geneos has made great strides in advancing the novel and differentiated GT-EPIC™ platform for personalized cancer treatments,” commented Mr. Lee. “KIP is pleased to join the company’s investment syndicate and help support the team with its development plans.”
The proceeds will be used for the expansion of the company’s GT-30 Phase Ib/IIa clinical trial evaluating its personalized neoantigen-targeting vaccine, GNOS-PV02, for treating patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of liver cancer. GNOS-PV02, which is based on Geneos’ proprietary GT-EPIC™ platform, is a tumor-specific DNA plasmid product designed and manufactured for each patient based on their unique tumor mutations’ (neoantigens), identified by sequencing each patient’s tumor. In the trial, GNOS-PV02 is combined with a DNA plasmid encoded cytokine immunomodulator IL-12 (INO-9012) and PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor (pembrolizumab). Geneos has amended the trial protocol to expand enrollment from the initial 12 patients to 24 patients.
“The Series A1 financing demonstrates our investors’ confidence in the GT-EPIC platform to design and manufacture patient-specific personalized cancer vaccines,” said Dr. Niranjan Y. Sardesai, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Geneos Therapeutics. “Over the past two years we have demonstrated feasibility of the approach as a treatment modality – notably, the rapid biopsy to treatment turnaround time, which is so crucial when treating advanced cancer patients. This financing will allow us to expand our GT-30 clinical trial to a larger number of patients which we estimate will be sufficient to demonstrate efficacy in the 2nd line setting.”
The company also announced the expansion of its management team with the addition of leadership team members who collectively bring decades of biopharmaceutical development expertise across early and late-stage clinical programs and pharma/biotech partnering. Joining the company’s leadership team are:
- Ms. Joann Peters as Vice President, Clinical and Business Operations
- Dr. Alfredo Perales-Puchalt, MD, Ph.D as Vice President, Research & Development
- Dr. Hakim Hammach, Ph.D, MBA as Vice President, Business Development
- Ms. Federica O’Brien as Strategic Finance Consultant/CFO
For more information about the company and its leadership team, visit www.geneostx.com
About Geneos Therapeutics
At Geneos Therapeutics, we believe that personalized therapies are the future of cancer treatment. Our passion is to develop personalized therapies to unleash the most powerful force against cancer – your body’s own immune system. Our approach using our GT-EPIC™ platform is to target unique neoantigens (abnormal mutations produced by cancer cells) from individual patient tumors to develop novel and personalized treatments for cancer. We have an experienced management team with a track record of success in building immunotherapy-based companies.
About Liver Cancer
Globally, liver cancers are the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death and ranked sixth in terms of annual incidence. The rate of death from liver cancer in the U.S. has increased 43% from 2000 to 2016 and with a 5-year survival rate of 18% for advanced liver cancer, it is the second most deadly tumor behind pancreatic. HCC accounts for the majority of primary liver cancers.
About GT-EPIC™ Platform:
Geneos Therapeutics’ GT-EPIC™ Neoantigen-Targeting Platform is based on a clinically-validated DNA medicines technology exclusively licensed from Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) for use in developing personalized, neoantigen-targeting immunotherapies. The Inovio technology has been used extensively and safely by Inovio Pharmaceuticals in the clinical treatment of patients with over 2,000 patients treated and over 6,000 administrations. The GT-EPIC™ platform allows Geneos to develop exquisitely personalized DNA-based therapies tailored to each patient’s unique tumor mutations. The platform is developed to deliver the following key advantages: ability to drive potent and broad T cell immune responses, capability to target an unprecedented number of neoantigens in a single formulation, and a rapid manufacturing turnaround time. Geneos believes that these are three key differentiators that will drive the company, and the oncology space, into the next generation of neoantigen targeted immunotherapies.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our business, including our plans regarding the development of tumor neoantigen targeted personalized immunotherapies for cancer, our expectations regarding our research and development programs, including the planned expansion and conduct of clinical trials and the availability and timing of data from those trials, and the use of our capital resources. Actual events or results may differ from the expectations set forth herein. There can be no assurance that any product candidate in Geneos’ pipeline will be successfully developed, manufactured or commercialized, that final results of clinical trials will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products, or that any of the forward-looking information provided herein will be proven accurate. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release, and Geneos undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, except as may be required by law.