SAN DIEGO, Jan. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- BioAtla LLC, a global biotechnology company focused on the development of Conditionally Active Biologic (CAB) antibody therapeutics, today announced that Global BIO Impact Fund (Global BIO), a U.S.-based bioscience investment fund, has committed to invest $45 million in BioAtla. The investment will be $15 million in BioAtla equity by the end of January 2016 and $30 million by the end of March 2016 in direct funding for the early development of several CAB antibody candidates for BioAtla's proprietary portfolio. Through the program funding, Global BIO will share in the risks and the potential returns of BioAtla's first four CAB candidates that receive Investigational New Drug (IND) approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The specific CAB candidates under the Global BIO agreement would be at BioAtla's decision and could include CAB products in development under BioAtla's May 2015 collaboration with Beijing Sinobioway Group Company Limited (Sinobioway), or BioAtla CAB-ADC products resulting from BioAtla's December 2015 agreement with Pfizer Inc. or other BioAtla CAB products under consideration. BioAtla and Sinobioway are working collaboratively to develop several CAB candidates. Sinobioway has exclusive rights to, and will fund the development, manufacturing, clinical trials and commercialization costs of selected CAB antibodies in China, Hong Kong,Macau and Taiwan. BioAtla retains the rest of world (ROW) rights to these products. The Pfizer agreement advances the development and commercialization of a new class of antibody therapeutics based on BioAtla's CAB platform and utilizing Pfizer's proprietary antibody drug conjugate (ADC) payloads. Under the agreement, BioAtla and Pfizer will each have a license to the other's respective technology to pursue the development and commercialization of several CAB-ADC antibodies.
This investment by Global BIO, especially the non-dilutive funding of $30 million for program development, is an important component in BioAtla's strategy to build a robust proprietary portfolio of novel cancer therapeutics based on the CAB platform. 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.
"BioAtla's strategy is to maintain control of the development and the prospects of its CAB candidates, potentially through commercialization, to maximize value to our equity holders and to allow BioAtla to pursue therapeutic strategies of CAB combinations made possible by the CAB technology," said Jay M. Short, Ph.D., president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of BioAtla. "We augment our strategy with collaborations in important specific geographic markets like China and with agreements on key technologies like ADCs. Development efficiency and cost effective financing, such as that provided by Global BIO, are crucial elements in our plans."
The Global BIO Impact Fund managers are intent on accelerating delivery of disruptive technologies to the world—across the spectrum from the life sciences and medicine to agriculture—in order to enhance the future for people everywhere, according to John Evey, a co-managing director. "Rapidly advancing BioAtla's novel cancer antibody development technology directly aligns with our strategy at Global BIO, and the fund's managers are pleased to help deliver a new generation of cancer therapeutics to patients globally."
About Conditionally Active Biologics (CABs)
Conditionally Active Biologic proteins 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 primarily 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's activation depends on its presence in a particular cellular microenvironment thereby preferentially binding to its intended target protein in the area of disease. In addition, the activation is reversible and can repeatedly switch 'on and off' should the CAB product move from a diseased to a normal cellular microenvironment and vice versa further reducing chances the CAB would bind to the same protein located in healthy tissue or in other parts of the body and cause undesirable toxicity.
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 Global BIO Impact Fund
Organized to give investors the opportunity to realize exceptional financial returns while stimulating positive change through accelerating the development and global adoption of disruptive technologies in the biosciences, the Global BIO Impact Fund, a U.S. investment fund with leadership based in California, was founded by five individuals with extensive experience in biotechnology, corporate leadership, entrepreneurship, medicine, real estate fund management, impact investing and the nonprofit sector. The Global BIO managers derive additional insight and guidance from Code Blue Innovations and from MedSci International, an entity that facilitates international equity investment and joint venture partnerships for American companies with disruptive technologies that will enhance the future.
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.