Flame Bioscience to Ignite Pipeline with $100M Common Stock Financing
Flame Biosciences is ready to take their potentially best-in-class therapy for the treatment of lung cancers driven by inflammation into the next phase thanks to an infusion of cash from a common stock financing. A hefty $100 million was raised this week in an effort led by Rock Springs Capital.
Flame’s focus has been on treating life-threatening conditions driven by chronic inflammation. The key to their therapy targeting lung cancer is based on a study published in 2017. While the focus of the CANTOS study was primarily cardiovascular, the results additionally showed that targeting inflammation can be an effective immuno-oncology therapy for lung cancer.
Flame took Novartis’ study and ran with it to develop their own therapy, FL-101, to bind to and neutralize pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1ß. IL-1ß has been shown to be an independent, causal factor of lung cancer, so neutralizing it will present a potentially effective treatment.
Another contender in their pipeline is Flame’s FL-201, a therapy to rapidly reduce chronic inflammation in patients suffering from severe disease. Flame has not yet disclosed the disease state that will be the focus for this therapy in forthcoming studies. Their pipeline is currently targeting the life-threatening conditions of cancer, chronic kidney disease and other conditions driven by chronic inflammation.
"We are grateful for the support and commitment of our new investors and are excited to work with Kris Jenner and Rock Springs Capital as we advance our pipeline of therapeutics to the clinic," said Harlan Weisman, MD, chief executive officer and co-founder of Flame. "Inhibiting chronic inflammation presents an enormous opportunity for novel therapeutics to treat a range of diseases characterized by immune system dysfunction, including cancer and inflammatory diseases. Flame is committed to establishing this mechanism of immune regulation for the benefit of patients who suffer from these deadly and debilitating conditions."
This week’s financing saw participation from funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Cormorant Asset Management LP, Janus Henderson Investors, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Samsara BioCapital, Adage Capital Management LP, Terra Magnum Capital Partners, Logos Capital and Acuta Capital Partners.
Kris Jenner, Managing Member at Rock Springs Capital, said, "The IL-1β pathway presents an intriguing set of possibilities that would open up a new class of medicines for a broad array of devastating diseases. We look forward to working alongside Flame to move FL-101 through clinical development."
In August, Flame announced a collaboration with Applied BioMath for their services in pharmacology modeling for their inflammation-driven cancer therapies.
"Our collaboration with Applied BioMath will enable us to leverage systems pharmacology modeling to aid in the prediction of clinical efficacious dose for our therapeutic," said Leonid Gorelik, SVP Discovery & Translational Science at Flame Biosciences.
Flame is looking to enter the clinic with FL-101 in the first half of 2021 for proof-of-concept testing in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.