Imugene Onboards Leading Surgical Oncologist to OV SAB; Completes $24.6 million placement

  • Dec 10, 2019 AEDT
  • Team Kalkine
Imugene Onboards Leading Surgical Oncologist to OV SAB; Completes $24.6 million placement

Australia-based clinical stage immuno-oncology player, Imugene Limited (ASX: IMU) has recently announced the appointment of Surgeon Scientist, Dr. Rebecca Auer to its newly formed OV (oncolytic virotherapy) Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Auer is the latest to join Imugene’s OV Scientific Advisory Board after Professor Prasad S. Adusumilli and Professor Yuman Fong.

She heads a research laboratory as a Surgeon Scientist and is a key investigator in related clinical studies. Her translational program of research is targeted at recognising the development of metastatic disease around the time of surgery (perioperative period), after surgical stress.

Particularly, she is exploring innovative perioperative cancer therapies, incorporating targeted therapies, cancer vaccines and oncolytic viruses, which prevent the formation of metastases post-surgery.

With 3 active clinical trials of perioperative cancer therapies, she seeks to enhance cancer outcomes for all patients who go through invasive cancer surgeries. She is considered as a pioneer in the area of perioperative cancer therapeutics.

Dr. Auer’s research is one of the earliest to discover the mechanisms liable for the stimulation of cancer growth and metastases that arise after surgery. She has translated and developed four unconventional immunotherapies from her laboratory innovations to clinical studies, including oncolytic viruses, perioperative low molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) and PDE-5 inhibitors.

Currently, she serves the following roles:

  • Chair of the Rectal Disease Oncology Group for the Canadian Cancer Trials Group
  • Executive member of the Clinical Trials Committee
  • Executive of the Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology
  • Member of the US Rectal-Anal Task Force
  • Member of the International Committee of the Society of Surgical Oncology

Other Members in Imugene’s OV Scientific Advisory Board

In addition to Dr. Auer, Imugene’s OV Scientific Advisory Board also includes Professor Prasad S. Adusumilli and Professor Yuman Fong, who chairs this board.

Professor Yuman Fong, MD is Chair of the Department of Surgery at Los Angeles-based City of Hope, an internationally recognised independent research and treatment center for life-threatening diseases like diabetes and cancer. Moreover, he is a world-renowned cancer researcher, physician and surgeon whose clinical work has focused on OV for over 30 years.

Dr. Fong is also an inventor of OV CF33 whose license has been recently acquired by Imugene from City of Hope Cancer Centre in Los Angeles.

Source: Company’s Presentation (2nd December 2019)

Professor Prasad S. Adusumilli was appointed as a member of OV Scientific Advisory Board in November this year. He is an MD FACS FCCP, Head, Solid Tumors Cell Therapy, Cellular Therapeutics Center at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Deputy Chief, Thoracic Service and Co-Director, Mesothelioma Program.

He is a world-renowned thoracic surgeon with expertise in the treatment and diagnosis of cancers in the chest - lung cancer, thymoma, esophageal cancer, mediastinal and chest wall tumours, mesothelioma and cancers metastatic to pleura and lung.

Imugene’s OV Scientific Advisory Board now comprises a set of distinguished physicians and scientists who have devoted their career to investigating scientific discoveries for the benefit of cancer patients. The appointment of Dr. Auer is likely to advance the development of CF33 which is poised to enter two Phase 1 clinical trials in 2020 – CheckVacc Phase 1 Triple Negative Breast Cancer Study in 2nd quarter of 2020 and Vaxinia Phase 1/2 MAST (Mixed Advanced Solid Tumours) Study in 1ST half of 2020.

IMU Completes capital raising to support further clinical trials

In a separate announcement to ASX, Imugene also announced the completion of placement of $24.6 million, issuing ~683 million fully paid ordinary shares at an issue price of $0.036 per share (with 1 new option for every 3 new shares issued with an exercise price of $0.054 per new option exercisable on or before 30 November 2022) to sophisticated and professional investors.

The funds raised under the Placement are intended to be utilised for the following purposes:

  • Finance Imugene’s existing clinical programs through to mid-2024 ($20 million), including
  • The two oncolytic virus clinical candidates (CheckVacc and Vaxinia) through completion of Phase 2 study, and
  • B-cell immunotherapy candidates via key value inflection points;
  • Fund additional resources ($2 million); and
  • Support working capital (~$2.6 million).

Stock Performance: IMU closed the trading session at $0.033 on 10th December 2019. The stock has delivered a significant return of about 112.50 per cent in the last six months.


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