Healthcare Industry News: Chemical Induction of Dimerization
News Release - March 8, 2012
Bellicum Closes $20 Million Series B FinancingFunding Supports Two Programs Through Phase 2 Development
HOUSTON, March 8, 2012 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that it has raised $20 million in a Series B financing. The funding will be used to advance its lead CaspaCIDe™ and DeCIDe™ programs through Phase 2 clinical development.
The additional funding strengthens Bellicum's balance sheet with $26 million of committed capital, including a $6.1 million award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Current and new investors contributed to the B round. New investors James Brown, AVG Ventures LP, and Dennis Stone, M.D., Remeditex Ventures, will both join Bellicum's Board of Directors.
"We are pleased that our clinical programs continue to attract interest and capital from a wide range of sources," said Tom Farrell, CEO of Bellicum. "We now have the funding necessary to advance two exciting oncology products, both based on our core CID technology, up to registration studies."
The new funding will be made available to the Company in two equal tranches, with one-half, or approximately $10 million, paid immediately. The balance will be paid upon initiation of the next phase of clinical trials for its two lead products, expected in the third quarter of 2012.
"Bellicum has advanced two exciting products into mid-stage development that address significant unmet medical need," said Dennis Stone, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Remeditex Ventures. "We believe the company is poised to become an important product innovator, addressing large market diseases in both oncology and immunology."
Bellicum plans to initiate a Phase 2 DeCIDe vaccine study in 2012. BPX-101 is a therapeutic cancer vaccine being developed for the treatment of patients with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The product contains matured, prostate cancer antigen-expressing dendritic cells that have been modified to allow in vivo activation by a proprietary drug, AP1903, in order to induce a potent anti-cancer immune response.
Also in 2012, the Company plans to launch a Phase 1/2 study of a T cell infusion product for patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), in which CaspaCIDe is used to treat graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a serious and sometime fatal transplant complication. Results from a recent proof-of-concept study with CaspaCIDe technology in patients with acute leukemia were published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing rapid and complete reversal of GVHD.
"Bellicum has shown that CID technology is able to control engineered cells inside the body, with potentially profound benefit in a variety of clinical settings," commented James Brown, Manager of AVG Ventures. "The management team has accomplished this with a high degree of capital efficiency, and is now well positioned to advance its multi-product portfolio through mid-stage trials."
About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is developing clinical applications of Chemical Induction of Dimerization (CID), a drug-based remote control technology that extends the physician's reach beyond the point at which a treatment has been administered. Bellicum's mission is to leverage this smart technology to bring safe, effective, innovative cell therapies to market for patients with serious and life threatening diseases. The company's DeCIDe™ vaccines are designed to kill targeted cells by inducing a potent, durable, fully activated antigen-specific T cell immune response. BPX-101, an autologous DeCIDe vaccine, is in clinical development for patients with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). CaspaCIDe™ is a cell therapy safety switch, permitting the rapid elimination of cells in the event of toxicity. CaspaCIDe DLI is a donor T cell infusion administered following a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, in which the safety switch may be activated to resolve graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). For more information, visit www.bellicum.com
Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
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