Phoenix-based OncoMyx Therapeutics, a privately-held immuno-oncology platform company, today announced the closing of a $50 million Series B financing, co-led by Lumira Ventures and B Capital Group with participation from LYZZ Capital and all Series A investors: Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Delos Capital, Xeraya Capital, Korea Investment Partners, City Hill Ventures, and Madison Partners. In conjunction with the financing, Benjamin (Beni) Rovinski, Ph.D., Managing Director of Lumira Ventures and Widya Mulyasasmita, Ph.D., Senior Principal, Healthcare at B Capital Group will join the company’s Board of Directors. The proceeds of the financing will support the further development of OncoMyx’s pipeline of multi-armed myxoma immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumors and hematological malignances and the advancement of the company’s lead candidate into clinical trials.
OncoMyx has leveraged myxoma’s unique qualities to build an immunotherapy platform to deliver multiple cancer- killing payloads in one therapeutic. Myxoma is a natural oncolytic virus, selectively infecting and killing a wide range of cancer cell types. It is also inherently highly immuno-interactive, and as a large dsDNA poxvirus, is engineerable to express multiple payloads. OncoMyx’s multi-armed myxoma virus delivers different antitumor immunomodulatory proteins that hit critical points in the cancer immunity cycle to modulate the tumor microenvironment and stimulate a robust anti-tumor response. Because myxoma is not pathogenic to humans, it does not have to overcome pre-existing immunity and is highly amenable to IV and repeat dosing with a longer dosing window.
“OncoMyx builds on more than three decades of research into the myxoma virus, brings together the top team with experience developing targeted cancer treatments, immunotherapies, and virotherapies, and is fueled by a commitment to addressing unmet medical needs in patients with cancer,” said Steve Potts, Ph.D., MBA, cofounder and CEO of OncoMyx. “The power of our myxoma platform is the potential to systemically deliver broad and selective targeting of cancer cells combined with robust activation of the cancer immunity cycle in a single therapeutic. With this financing, we plan to advance our lead multi-armed myxoma immunotherapy into clinical trials to demonstrate initial safety and efficacy of intravenous dosing.”
“I have long been interested and was previously involved in the development and use of modified, recombinant viruses as immunotherapeutic agents. Oncolytic viruses in particular have shown clinical promise but a significant challenge has been the inability to engineer a safe and versatile oncolytic virus platform that is not restricted to local intratumoral delivery,“ said Dr. Rovinski. “The use of myxoma virus, which is not pathogenic to humans and can accommodate several insertions of heterologous therapeutic agents, as the backbone of OncoMyx’s immunotherapy platform, represents a uniquely differentiated feature that has the potential to overcome the well-known historical challenge of effectively delivering oncolytic viruses systemically for optimal dosing. We believe that OncoMyx’s myxoma-based oncolytic viruses may become best-in-class components of novel immunotherapeutic regimens, and we look forward to supporting the world class team at OncoMyx to bring these therapies to patients in need.”
“We always seek to invest in companies with visionary founders and world-changing technology, and we saw the unmatched potential of OncoMyx’s myxoma platform to make a significant breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy by delivering multiple immune-activating and anti-tumor agents in one off-the-shelf package. We are impressed with the extensive preclinical data OncoMyx has generated demonstrating efficacy and safety of the myxoma platform across a broad range of cancers, from hematological malignancies to solid tumors,” said Dr. Mulyasasmita. “OncoMyx has attracted an exceptionally experienced and talented team who are as committed as the founders about building the next great immuno-oncology company that delivers lifesaving medicines for many difficult-to- treat cancers. We couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to support their mission.”
OncoMyx has presented preclinical safety and efficacy data at major scientific conferences demonstrating their myxoma immunotherapies stimulate anti-tumor immunity and produce anti-tumor efficacy in a wide range of models following IV or intratumoral administration. The data, along with previously published studies, support the advancement of these therapies into clinical development as a monotherapy and in combination with many cancer therapeutics and immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitors and chemotherapies. The company plans to advance its lead candidate into clinical trials next year to generate safety and efficacy data for IV dosing.