Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has developed Imprime PGG which is a Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterning (PAMP) molecule that works like an immunological switch to coordinate innate and adaptive immune responses. It does so by more fully engaging the entire immune system whereby they alter the protective microenvironment tumors often create to avoid detection and destruction. Thus, the cancer cells become more vulnerable to immune attack. Imprime PGG enhances the efficacy of multiple classes of anti-tumor monoclonal antibodies, including tumor-targeting anti-angiogenic and checkpoint inhibitors (PD-1, PD-L1 antibodies). Imprime PGG has strong proof of concept based on extensive clinical experience and widespread signals of efficacy across a range of tumor types. Unlike other PAMPs, Imprime PGG can be administered systemically and is well tolerated. Biothera has assembled a broad intellectual property portfolio for Imprime PGG consisting of more than 100 US and International patents and patents pending. They are striving to become the leader in innate immune modulation. Ultimately, they envision that there novel therapeutics will become essential components of multiple cancer immunotherapy combinations that enable more patients to live longer and healthier lives. That is the promise of cancer immunotherapy.
In Biothera Pharma’s January update letter they stated that the company was continuing to work with Citigroup on a plan to go public but that it did not appear that the Pharma market was ready for IPO’s yet, but that they would be ready if that changed. They also spoke of the continuing meaningful data from their ongoing clinical trials including the 4 research collaborations they have with Merck with Imprime PGG in combination with Merck’s Keytruda drug in the treatment of melanoma, triple negative breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Keytruda is one of Mercks’ hottest new drugs that has been approved for the treatment of patients with a certain type of late stage non-small cell lung cancer. Merck has been heavily promoting Keytruda in TV and print advertising and is pursuing a growing number of human trials using Keytruda to treat more cancers as they are doing along with their increasing number of trials in collaboration efforts with Biothera’s Imprime PGG. The FDA just approved Mercks’ request to allow them to conduct clinical trials with Keytruda for blood cancers and that could become the 5th collaboration deal between Merck and Biothera Pharma. I also have learned that they are in the process of finalizing a collaboration agreement with Genentech/Roche that would include both preclinical research and clinical research and they are also in similar discussions with Pfizer. They have had active collaboration deals for some time now with Eli Lily, 4 with Merck, Big 10 Cancer Research Consortium, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, The Wistar Institute and soon Genentech/Roche and possibly Pfizer.
Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. continues to raise capital to support ongoing clinical trials until the IPO market for emerging pharmaceutical businesses heats up again. That could happen very soon. I believe the value of Biothera increases every time a major pharmaceutical company signs a new collaboration agreement with Biothera for other drugs to be combined with Imprime PGG in new clinical trials. Website is www.biothera.com.