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30 March, 2021 - 13:52 By Tony Quested

F-star builds springboard for spectacular growth

F-star Therapeutics, Inc, the Cambridge UK-based biopharma business, has laid the foundations for a game-changing spurt of commercial growth after a transformational last 12 months.

The company is dedicated to developing next generation immunotherapies to transform the lives of patients with cancer and its 2020 results have laid the platform for expansion.

The company’s listing on NASDAQ has proved a huge success and the company has advanced multiple programs into the clinic. 

During the year F-star also presented Phase 1 data on its most advanced program FS118 and dosed patients in two additional clinical trials with FS222 and FS120. 

The company continued to deliver on its long-term collaborations and ended the year with a total of four clinical stage programs, and a robust pipeline generated from its unique tetravalent bispecific platform technology.

Eliot Forster, CEO of F-star Therapeutics, Inc., said: “F-star finished the year in a strong position having made significant progress towards our mission of transforming the lives of patients with cancer. 

“Listing on NASDAQ at the end of 2020 has accelerated our plans and we now have four programs in the clinic with the potential to help patients where there is currently significant unmet need. FS118 (LAG-3/PD-L1 bispecific), the most advanced of these, showed encouraging signs of clinical activity with a novel mechanism of action for acquired resistance patients and a proof-of-concept trial in PD-1 resistant head and neck cancer patients is now underway. 

“FS222, a potentially best-in-class bispecific antibody targeting CD137 (4-1BB) and PD-L1, is in Phase 1. FS120, a first-in-class CD137/OX40 mAb2 dual agonist bispecific antibody, is underway with a Phase 1 in monotherapy and PD-1 combination. SB 11285, a second-generation STING agonist for intravenous administration continues in Phase 1/2 trial, including combination with TecentriqTM.”

F-star ended the year with cash and equivalents of $18.5m compared to $4.9m for the previous 12 months. This was driven primarily by proceeds from the PIPE financing and cash resulting from the business combination in November 2020 and proceeds from collaborations. R & D expenses were slashed to $14.1m from $31.4m year-on-year.

Despite commitment to growing the business the net loss was only fractionally higher – $25.6m compared to $23m.

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