BriaCell presses up new company with a couple of preclinical cancer meds

BriaCell Therapeutics is plucking a couple of preclinical mixtapes and seeing how they sound in a new studio, forming a fresh spinout company to develop the early meds.

The new company, which has been dubbed SpinCo in the release, will have a preclinical PKCδ inhibitor and immunotherapy, BriaCell announced Thursday morning. The new entity will be majority-owned and controlled by BriaCell, and existing BriaCell shareholders will be able to buy in. Once the transaction is complete, BriaCell shareholders will receive one share of the slimmed-down BriaCell and one share of SpinCo. 

It’s unclear exactly what prompted BriaCell’s decision to reassign the assets, with CEO William Williams, M.D., saying in a release that it would be beneficial for the assets to be worked on under a separate balance sheet. The two assets, however, appear to generally fit the focus of BriaCell’s larger pipeline, which centers on immuno-oncology. 

BriaCell will own two-thirds of SpinCo’s shares while existing BriaCell shareholders will own the rest. BriaCell says SpinCo “may seek funding subsequent to the closing of the transaction” to further develop the assets. The company didn’t specify how much cash SpinCo will have at its disposal upon launching, and a spokesperson did not immediately respond when asked. 

Once stood up, SpinCo will be tasked with bringing the two assets into the clinic. The immunotherapy, Bria-TILsRx, will likely be first, with BriaCell estimating it will be ready to launch into trials in 2024. The asset is currently being directed at prostate, epithelial and glandular cancers. The PKCδ inhibitor is a few steps behind, with BriaCell originally planning to select an indication this year. 

The focus of BriaCell's attention remains Bria-IMT, the largest source of optimism for the company’s commercial ambitions. The med is currently preparing for a registrational trial in combination with Incyte’s retifanlimab to treat patients with advanced metastatic breast cancer, set to launch in the first half of the year. The company reported in January that it had hammered out trial details with the FDA at an end of phase 2 meeting. 

BriaCell also plans to release safety and efficacy data of Bria-IMT’s phase 1/2a trial before 2023’s halfway point.