VBL Therapeutics Awarded $2.5 Million Grant By The Israel Innovation Authority
Published: Jun 08, 2017
TEL AVIV, Israel, June 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VBL Therapeutics (Nasdaq:VBLT) today announced that it has been awarded a grant of 8.75 million New Israeli Shekels (approximately $2.5 million) by the Israel Innovation Authority. The grant will support clinical trials and development activities for calendar year 2017. The Israel Innovation Authority, formerly known as the Office of the Chief Scientist, which is responsible for the country’s innovation policy, is an independent and impartial public entity that operates for the benefit of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and the country’s economy as a whole. The funds will support the development of ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111), a targeted anti-cancer gene-therapy agent currently in development for recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM), platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and other solid tumors.
"The Israel Innovation Authority’s support of the VB-111 program provides validation for the potential of this drug to help patients suffering from various types of cancer,” said Dror Harats, Chief Executive Officer of VBL Therapeutics. “We believe this non-dilutive grant for the VB-111 program underscores the confidence that the Innovation Authority has in our technology and its potential for commercialization. The continuous financial support for the VB-111 program is an important contribution to our ability to execute on our plans into 2019, as we prepare for the commercialization of VB-111 and establish our new manufacturing site.”
About Ofranergene Obadenovec (VB-111)
Ofranergene obadenovec is a unique biologic agent that uses a dual mechanism to target solid tumors. Based on a non-integrating, non-replicating, Adeno 5 vector, ofranergene obadenovec utilizes VBL's proprietary Vascular Targeting System (VTS™) to target the tumor vasculature for cancer therapy. Unlike anti-VEGF or TKIs, ofranergene obadenovec does not aim to block a specific pro-angiogenic pathway; instead, it uses an angiogenesis-specific sensor (VBL's PPE-1-3x proprietary promoter) to specifically induce cell death in angiogenic endothelial cells in the tumor milieu. This mechanism retains activity regardless of baseline tumor mutations or the identity of the pro-angiogenic factors secreted by the tumor and shows activity even after failure of prior treatment with other anti-angiogenics. Moreover, ofranergene obadenovec induces specific anti-tumor immune response, which is accompanied by recruitment of CD8 T-cells and apoptosis of tumor cells.
Ofranergene obadenovec completed a Phase 2 study in rGBM, which showed a statistically significant improvement in overall survival in patients treated with ofranergene obadenovec through progression, compared to either patients treated with ofranergene obadenovec followed by bevacizumab alone, or to historical bevacizumab data. In a Phase 2 trial for recurrent platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, ofranergene obadenovec demonstrated a statistically significant increase in overall survival and 60% durable response rate (as measured by reduction in CA-125), approximately twice the historical response with bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in ovarian cancer. In a Phase 2 study in recurrent, iodine-resistant differentiated thyroid cancer, ofranergene obadenovec met the primary endpoint demonstrating disease stabilization with a positive safety profile, along with a dose-response and evidence of an overall survival benefit. Ofranergene obadenovec has received Fast Track Designation for recurrent glioblastoma in the U.S. and orphan drug status for glioblastoma in both the U.S. and EU.
Vascular Biogenics Ltd., operating as VBL Therapeutics, is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class treatments for cancer. The Company’s lead oncology product candidate, ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111), is a first-in-class, targeted anti-cancer gene-therapy agent that is positioned to treat a wide range of solid tumors. It is conveniently administered as an IV infusion once every two months. It has been observed to be well-tolerated in >200 cancer patients and we have observed its efficacy signals in an “all comers” Phase 1 trial as well as in three tumor-specific Phase 2 studies. Ofranergene obadenovec is currently being studied in a Phase 3 pivotal trial for recurrent Glioblastoma, conducted under an FDA Special Protocol Assessment (SPA).
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, which are often indicated by terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “look forward to”, “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our cash position and resources, statements regarding the clinical development of ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111), including our expectations regarding the timing of results from the GLOBE study, and its therapeutic potential and clinical results. These forward-looking statements are not promises or guarantees and involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described or projected herein include uncertainties associated generally with research and development, clinical trials and related regulatory reviews and approvals, and the risk that historical clinical trial results may not be predictive of future trial results. In particular, results from our pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111) in rGBM may not support approval of ofranergene obadenovec for marketing in the United States, notwithstanding the positive results seen in prior clinical experience. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other risks can be found in the Company’s regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including in our annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2016. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. VBL Therapeutics undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.
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