Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, 'the Group', 'Innovations') is pleased to note that portfolio company PsiOxus Therapeutics ('PsiOxus' or the 'Company') has announced an agreement granting Bristol-Myers Squibb exclusive worldwide rights to NG-348, a pre-clinical stage, "armed" oncolytic virus which may serve as a novel mechanism to address solid tumours.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will grant PsiOxus a US$50 million upfront payment and will be solely responsible for global clinical development and commercialisation activities related to NG-348. PsiOxus is also eligible to receive up to US$886 million in development, regulatory and sales-based milestones, and in addition, royalties on net sales. Bristol-Myers Squibb will also be responsible for providing PsiOxus funding to support activities related to the preclinical development of NG-348.
PsiOxus is an Oxford-based immuno-oncology company that has developed a patented platform for the systemic delivery of tumour-targeted oncolytic immune therapeutics. NG-348 is the first of PsiOxus' viruses to use its proprietary Tumour-Specific Immuno-gene Therapy (T-SIGn) platform to "arm" the virus with additional immuno-therapeutic transgenes. This makes possible the creation of a broad range of systemically delivered oncolytic immune therapeutics, including oncolytic viruses that express one or more antibodies, cytokines, immunomodulatory proteins, and nucleotide (RNA)-based payloads.
This announcement is the second collaboration between PsiOxus and Bristol-Myers Squibb and follows an agreement announced in June 2016 under the terms of which the two companies entered into an exclusive clinical collaboration to study enadenotucirev, PsiOxus' systemically administered "unarmed" oncolytic adenovirus therapeutic.
PsiOxus is Innovations' fifth largest portfolio company by value. As at 31 July 2016, Innovations had a 27.8% interest in the issued share capital of PsiOxus with a net investment carrying value of £22.6 million.
We are very excited about this agreement, which is PsiOxus' second major collaboration with BMS and a strong validation of the company's proprietary platform for the systemic delivery of oncolytic immune therapeutics. BMS has deep expertise in immuno-oncology and the resources to continue the development of NG-348 and drive this programme into clinical development.
PsiOxus will benefit from a substantial upfront payment which it can invest in developing further T-SIGn armed viruses. The total deal size of US$936 million is indicative of the significant potential value of the collaboration.
Another of our portfolio companies Crescendo Biologics recently announced a collaborative agreement with Takeda worth up to US$790 million. Both deals highlight Innovations' strength in oncology and are important validations of our maturing therapeutics portfolio.