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27 January, 2022 - 17:39 By Tony Quested

US cash swells CellCentric coffers and boosts therapy progress

Undisclosed investment from the American Cancer Society's impact venture capital fund – allied to a large funding injection from Morningside – has put fresh wind under the sails of Cambridge biotech CellCentric as it progresses novel cancer therapies.

The money from BrightEdge will help the company advance inobrodib, its ground-breaking p300/CBP targeted therapy.

CellCentric has steadily accumulated other investment to extend its cash runway and underpin and accelerate its push towards commercialisation. 

CEO Will West told Business Weekly: “The American Cancer Society's BrightEdge impact venture fund is quite new and this investment is relatively modest by US VC standards.

“The organisation is, however, highly targeted in its mission with deep knowledge of the space. For us it was more about the endorsement, given their prominent position in the heart of the US oncology ecosystem.

“In terms of cash, with the further significant funding from Morningside, we are now fully resourced to follow through on Phase IIa work, to allow us to then prioritise how we take inobrodib forward for specific applications and registration studies.

“We are investigating nine settings/applications. This is a first-in-class drug.  If just one or two of these come through we will be in a great place as a company and in terms of making a difference to people with cancer.”

Following a successful Phase I campaign, the new funding will be used to progress clinical development towards two pivotal registration trials.
Inobrodib is a first-in-class small molecule inhibitor that impacts twin regulatory proteins p300 and CBP and thus affects a number of established, yet elusive to treat oncogenes (including Myc, IRF4 and the Androgen Receptor).

The orally bioavailable drug is transitioning into Phase II clinical trials in multiple indications; castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), haematological malignancies as well as specifically targeted tumours driven by genomic alterations.

CellCentric recently received confirmation from the World Health Organisation for inobrodib as a new International Non-proprietary Name (INN) for CCS1477. The -brodib suffix represents the new class of drug; p300/CBP bromodomain inhibitors. Any subsequent follower drugs with a similar mechanism of action will bear the same novel drug class stem, -brodib.

Alice Pomponio, managing director of the American Cancer Society's BrightEdge said: “We are delighted to be supporting CellCentric's mission to bring a novel targeted therapy to people with cancer.

“At BrightEdge we invest in ground-breaking cancer research with the goal to translate them into commercially accessible solutions that put patients front and centre.”

West added: “We now know that our drug can be well tolerated and deliver clear signals of efficacy. The task ahead is to build on that, maximising its impact as a monotherapy and in combination with existing standard of care agents, to treat specific cancer types.”

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