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Upstart Valor launches with plans to develop armed antibody cancer drugs

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Some 19 months following his abrupt departure from the helm at Novavax, Rahul Singhvi is back with a new startup with plans to develop a trio of armed-antibody cancer drugs

ImmunGene and Caliber Biotherapeutics are launching Valor Biotherapeutics as a joint venture. The upstart plans to use technology developed at UCLA to create new cancer therapies that marry antibodies to interferon, with licenses to three mAb-IFN fusion product candidates now in preclinical development. Singhvi, who will lead Valor, is the managing director of Caliber.

The idea driving the startup came from the lab of Professor Sherie Morrison at UCLA, which was licensed to ImmunGene. Morrison's mAb-IFN fusion protein technology is designed to deliver a payload of interferon right to specific tumor sites, similar to the approach taken by other antibody-drug conjugate programs.

"The creation of Valor Biotherapeutics further marks the evolution of Caliber from a technology company into a drug development company with a highly promising pipeline," notes Singhvi in a statement. "We intend to leverage our complementary resources to develop these product candidates and welcome the opportunity to work with the highly accomplished ImmunGene team to accomplish our goals." 

- here's the press release

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