SAN DIEGO, June 11, 2015 -- BioAtla LLC, a global biotechnology company focused on the development of Conditionally Active Biologic (CAB) antibody therapeutics, today announced that a China-based investor group has purchased $30 million in BioAtla equity. The proceeds will be used to accelerate the development of the company's CAB antibody drug pipeline. This strategic investment also will advance BioAtla's plans to collaboratively develop biotherapeutics with biopharmaceutical companies and institutions in China to address the high demand for innovative therapeutic products and the growing demand in the Chinapharmaceutical market.
BioAtla's patent protected Conditionally Active Biologics platform represents a disruptive technology for the development of a powerful new class of immunotherapeutics that are activated in selected microenvironments within the body, such as those indicative of cancerous tumors. CABs can be generated in several different formats including naked monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), antibody drug conjugates, immune checkpoint inhibitors, bispecific antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells.
"The $30 million equity investment is a transformative event for BioAtla and our strategy to broadly and rapidly pursue novel therapeutic products based on our patented CAB and other proprietary technologies," said Jay M. Short, Ph.D., president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of BioAtla. "Since BioAtla's founding in 2007, we have utilized our Beijing development and operations capabilities to successfully develop dozens of protein products under contract and shared development. Our drug development experience and expertise in China, the great prospects of the CAB platform, and our strategy of proprietary drug development through defined value inflection points prior to partnering with pharmaceutical companies are attractive features for the investor group. The investor group's contacts and relationships in the China biopharmaceutical field are expected to lead to additional near-term, non-dilutive research and development investments in establishing integrated strategic partnering collaborations in Chinain the areas of CAB-enhanced antibody therapeutics, including in immuno-oncology and CAR T therapeutics."
About Conditionally Active Biologics (CABs)
Conditionally Active Biologic proteins (CABs) are generated using BioAtla's proprietary protein evolution and expression technologies. These proteins can be mAbs, enzymes and other proteins designed with functions dependent on changes in microphysiological conditions (e.g., pH level, oxidation, temperature, pressure, presence of certain ions, hydrophobicity and combinations thereof).
Studies have shown that cancerous tumors create highly specific conditions at their site that are not present in normal tissue. These cancerous microenvironments are a result of the well understood unique glycolytic metabolism associated with cancer cells, referred to as the Warburg Effect, which was first described in the early 1900's and is the basis of the widely-used PET scan cancer detection method today. CAB-designed mAbs can be programmed to deliver their therapeutic payload and/or recruit the immune response in specific and selected locations and conditions within the body. CABs increase safety because the drug is reversibly activated when it preferentially binds directly to its intended target protein in the area of disease. In this example, the CAB does not effectively bind to the same protein located in healthy tissue or other part of the body that otherwise results in undesirable toxicity.
The CAB antibody's selective activation results from amino acid substitutions of human-like sequences made to ensure compatibility. In addition to reducing risk of immunogenicity, this approach also improves the manufacturing yield of the drug. Reliably good expression and high manufacturing yields are also derived from BioAtla's patented Comprehensive Integrated Antibody Optimization™ (CIAO) technology that allows every step of development and screening of antibody variants through final CAB lead selection to be conducted in the mammalian cell type to be used in manufacturing.
CABs allow for higher dosing, the development of effective, non-immunogenic drugs, and the use of targets that are validated for cancer cells but traditionally considered too prevalent among normal cells to be used safely in current drug therapies. This opens a potentially rich range of targets for CABs that cannot be addressed using existing technologies. CABs may also be employed as diagnostic tools to reveal and pinpoint conditions indicative of cancerous activity.
About BioAtla, LLC
BioAtla is a global biotechnology company with operations in San Diego, California, and Beijing, China. BioAtla develops novel monoclonal antibody and other protein therapeutic products with more selective targeting, greater efficacy, and more cost-efficient and predictable manufacturing. By utilizing its proprietary technologies of product design and development, from target discovery to manufacturing and preclinical studies, BioAtla develops differentiated, patentable therapeutic proteins for its partners and for its internal programs. BioAtla has over 100 patents issued and pending that cover its platform technologies representing a full complement of therapeutic protein development capabilities. Learn more at www.bioatla.com.
Chief Financial Officer