ADC developer Iksuda Therapeutics has completed a $47 m financing round, co-led by Mirae Asset Capital and its subsidiaries, Celltrion and Premier Partners. The funding will support the advancement of the company’s lead ADC assets and expansion of its payload and conjugation platform technologies.
Its lead preclinical candidate, IKS03, is a CD19-targeted ADC candidate for B-cell cancers. The investment is hoped to enable progression of IKS03 to first-in-human Phase I clinical trials. It will also be used to accelerate the company’s earlier-stage programmes including IKS04 and IKS012 to IND filing.
The ADC programmes target tumours which currently have limited treatment options and high relapse rates, the company says. Its drug development pipeline is centred on the improved safety and efficacy conferred by tumour activated, prodrug payloads in combination with stable conjugation technologies, including its proprietary PermaLink platform.
Its research-stage pipeline uses a proprietary Protein Alkylating (ProAlk) tumour-activated payload platform, recently licensed from Göttingen University. The platform’s mode of action differs from the field’s primary focus of intra- or DNA inter-strand cross-linking, Iksuda claims, offering benefits against drug and tumour resistance mechanisms and enabling the development of more powerful and tolerable ADCs.
Dr Dave Simpson, CEO, Iksuda Therapeutics, said: “This is a transformational investment milestone for Iksuda, enabling us to focus on the progression of our industry-leading ADC programmes and bring them to the clinic, whilst supporting our commercial growth. The funding not only reflects the potential of our technologies, but also the unmatched expertise of the Iksuda team. We are grateful for the support of this group of investors and delighted to welcome them to the team.”
Ji Kwang Chung, Investor, Mirae Asset Capital, said: “We have been highly impressed with Iksuda’s approach and progress to date, and with the company’s leadership. We are delighted to lead this investment round, and to contribute to enabling the team to progress its very promising pipeline of ADC candidates.”