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Macrophage Pharma Limited Presents Data on Lead Immuno-Oncology Programme at 32nd Annual Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Conference

7 November 2017, Windsor, UK: Macrophage Pharma Limited (‘MPL’) the immuno-oncology research and development company focused on macrophage modulation in the tumour microenvironment (TME), announced today that two abstracts will be presented on its proprietary Esterase Sensitive Motif™ (ESM™) technology and its lead development candidate, MPL-5821, a macrophage targeted p38 MAP kinase inhibitor, at the 32nd Annual Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) conference, held on 10-11 November  2017 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

  • The first poster (P479) entitled “MPL-5821, an ESM™-p38 MAPK Inhibitor, modulates macrophage plasticity leading to enhanced IL-12p70 and IFN, reduced IL-10 and the reversal of macrophage induced T-Cell suppression”[i] describes the preliminary in vitro characterisation of MPL-5821, contrasting it with conventional inhibitors, with reference to its cell type specificity, sparing of myelomonocytic – lymphocyte communication and ability to reverse macrophage driven lymphocyte immunosuppression.

The data presented demonstrates that MPL-5821 modulates the macrophage phenotype to IL-12p70Hi / IL-10Lo and reverses the M2 macrophage suppression of T-cell functionality. The ESM™ cell selectivity differentiates MPL-5821 from non-targeted p38 MAPK inhibitors by its sparing of other immune cells such as lymphocytes. MPL-5821 enables the maintenance of the myelomonocytic/lymphocyte IL-12p70/IFNg axis, key to an effective anti-tumour immune response.

  • The second poster (P333), “MPL-5821, an ESM™-p38 MAPK Inhibitor, Enhances Tumor Immune Response and M1 Macrophage Polarization In A 3D Ex Vivo System Utilizing Fresh Tumor Microspheroids Of Lung Cancer Patients,”[ii] evaluates the immunomodulatory effect of MPL-5821 in a 3D ex vivo assay of lung cancer.

The data presented demonstrates that the lung patient derived ex-vivo approach indicates that MPL-5821 may alleviate myelomonocytic cell induced immunosuppression and enhance antigen responsiveness suggesting potential clinical implications in the treatment of lung cancer.

David Moffat, Director of Chemistry at Macrophage Pharma, said: “We are very pleased to present data on our lead programme MPL-5821 at SITC.  Results demonstrate that targeted inhibition of p38 MAP kinase in macrophages and dendritic cells is an attractive approach to relieve immunosuppression in the tumour microenvironment and provide validation of Macrophage Pharma’s ESM™ technology platform.  We are delighted to be able to share these meaningful findings with the rest of the immunotherapy community, and are actively advancing this programme into clinical studies in 2018.”

A copy of the posters and abstracts can be viewed and downloaded by clicking here

For further information please contact:

Optimum Strategic Communications

Hollie Vile, Mary Clark, Supriya Mathur

Email: [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 203 714 1789

 

About Macrophage Pharma Limited 

Macrophage Pharma is an immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies designed to enhance anti-tumour immune responses by modulating the tumour microenvironment.

Its proprietary Esterase Motif Technology™ (ESM™) platform is designed to deliver small molecule drugs to tumour associated macrophages in a highly selective manner, activating the body’s natural immune system to fight cancer. The platform has the ability to provide next-generation immunotherapies for a number of different cancers.

Founded by the CRT Pioneer Fund (CPF), the Company recently concluded a Series A financing round, led by CPF and joined by three specialist investors, Aglaia Biomedical Ventures BV, Novo Holdings A/S and Merck Ventures. For more information, please visit the company website: www.macrophagepharma.com

About SITC

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is the world’s leading member-driven organization specifically dedicated to professionals working in the field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy. Established in 1984, SITC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a growing constituency of academic, government, industry, clinical and basic scientists, and practitioners from around the world.

Through emphasis on high-caliber scientific meetings; dedication to education and outreach activities; focus on initiatives of major importance in the field; and commitment to collaborations with like-minded domestic and international organizations, government and regulatory agencies, associations and patient advocacy groups, SITC brings together all aspects of the cancer immunology and immunotherapy community.

 

[i]Poster 479

 Authors: Martin Perry, David Moffat, Justyna Rzepecka, Lucia Janicova, Anastasia Nika, Darryl Turner, Clare Doris, Stephen Anderton

Affiliation: Macrophage Pharma Limited, Windsor, United Kingdom  and Aquila BioMedical Limited, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

[ii] Poster 333

Authors: Melanie Mediavilla-Varela, Melba Marie Page, Jenny Kreahling, Martin Perry, David Moffat, Scott Antonia, Soner Altiok

Affiliation: Nilogen Oncosystems, Tampa, FL, USA  and Macrophage Pharma Limited, Windsor, United Kingdom

 

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Macrophage Pharma Extends Series A Round to Include New Investor Merck Ventures

Merck Ventures Joins Investment Syndicate and the Board of Macrophage

Macrophage Pharma Limited (‘MPL’) the immuno-oncology research and development company focused on macrophage modulation in the tumour microenvironment (TME), announced today that it has raised additional funding from Merck Ventures to complete the Series A Financing announced in January 2017.  Merck Ventures joins the existing investor syndicate of CRT Pioneer Fund (CPF), Novo Holdings A/S and Aglaia Biomedical Ventures BV with an equal size of investment. Senior Investment Director Hakan Goker from Merck Ventures joins Macrophage Pharma’s Board of Directors.

The financing will enable Macrophage Pharma to complete the first clinical study of its lead development candidate, a macrophage targeted p38MAP kinase inhibitor, as well as advancing two additional discovery candidates into preclinical development. The Company is also planning to utilise the additional capital by adding a fourth macrophage-targeted project into its pipeline.

Commenting on the completion of the financing round Ian Miscampbell, Non-Executive Chairman of Macrophage Pharma, said: “We are pleased to welcome Merck Ventures

to our existing investor syndicate.  Their commitment represents further validation of the Company’s novel approach in the immuno-oncology field and enables us to expand our pipeline.”

Hakan Goker, Senior Investment Director at Merck Ventures, added: “We are excited to join this experienced management team and investor syndicate to help translate this immuno-oncology pipeline into clinical development.  Macrophage Pharma impressed us with the initial data generated. The differentiated, novel approach they are following in the TME offers promise for the immuno-oncology armoury of clinicians to address a broad range of cancers.”

Macrophage Pharma’s ESM™ technology platform is designed to deliver small molecule drugs to macrophages in a highly selective manner, activating the body’s natural immune system to fight cancer.  The ESM™ technology platform has the ability to provide next-generation immunotherapies for a number of different cancers and larger patient populations.

The Company’s lead p38MAPi programme is focused on a novel macrophage-targeting p38 MAPK inhibitor. Clinical trials are scheduled to start in 2018. The Company is also developing additional programmes against novel targets centred on a number of proprietary, candidate compounds.

–    ENDS    –

For further information please contact:

Macrophage Pharma

Hollie Vile

Email: [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 7729 362 590

 

About Macrophage Pharma Limited 

Macrophage Pharma is an immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies designed to enhance anti-tumour immune responses by modulating the tumour microenvironment.

Its proprietary Esterase Motif Technology™ (ESM™) platform is designed to deliver small molecule drugs to tumour associated macrophages in a highly selective manner, activating the body’s natural immune system to fight cancer. The platform has the ability to provide next-generation immunotherapies for a number of different cancers.

Founded by the CRT Pioneer Fund (CPF), the Company recently raised £9 million in a Series A financing round, led by CPF and two new specialist investors, Novo Holdings A/S and Aglaia Biomedical Ventures BV.

For more information, please visit the company website: www.macrophagepharma.com

About Merck Ventures

Merck Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck‘s core business areas. From its headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel it invests globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. Merck Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. Merck Ventures has a significant focus on early-stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage Merck‘s science and technology base.  www.m-ventures.com

 

 

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Macrophage Pharma Appoints Development Director

Dr Joanne Bedwell-Garner joins management team

Macrophage Pharma Limited (‘MPL’) the immuno-oncology development company, announced today that it has appointed Dr Joanne Bedwell-Garner as Development Director. Dr Bedwell-Garner will be responsible for advancing the clinical development of Macrophage Pharma’s lead programme, MPL-5821. This announcement follows the recent £9 million Series A financing, which was led by CRT Pioneer Fund (CPF) and two new specialist investors, Novo A/S and Aglaia Biomedical Ventures BV.

Dr Bedwell-Garner brings over 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical sector, having held numerous senior Research and Development roles at companies including BTG, where she was Vice President of Non-Clinical Development and was responsible for non-clinical evaluation and translation into the clinic. Prior to this she held senior roles at Protherics, Emergent BioSolutions and Microscience. Dr Bedwell-Garner has a successful track record in taking greater than 15 pre-clinical candidates into clinical development; particularly in the areas of oncology, inflammation, cardiovascular and infectious disease. She obtained a PhD in oncology from University of London.

Dr Joanne Bedwell-Garner, newly appointed Development Director, said: “I am excited to join Macrophage Pharma’s highly experienced team to maximise the full therapeutic potential of the ESM technology in immuno-oncology.”

Macrophage Pharma’s ESM technology platform is designed to deliver small molecule drugs to tumour associated macrophages in a highly selective manner, activating the body’s natural immune system to fight cancer. The platform has the ability to provide next-generation immunotherapies for a number of different cancers.

The Company’s lead p38MAPi programme is focused on a novel macrophage-targeting p38 MAPK inhibitor. Clinical trials are scheduled to start in 2018. The Company is also developing discovery stage programmes centred on a number of proprietary, candidate compounds.

Macrophage Pharm will be presenting at Bio€quity Europe 2017 on Monday 22nd May at 4.20pm in the Next Wave company session.

About Macrophage Pharma Limited

Macrophage Pharma is an immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies designed to enhance anti-tumour immune responses.

Its proprietary Esterase Motif Technology (ESM) platform is designed to deliver small molecule drugs to tumour associated macrophages in a highly selective manner, activating the body’s natural immune system to fight cancer. The platform has the ability to provide next-generation immunotherapies for a number of different cancers.

Founded by the CRT Pioneer Fund (CPF), the Company recently raised £9 million in a Series A financing round, led by CPF and two new specialist investors, Novo A/S and Aglaia Biomedical Ventures BV.

Macrophage Pharma’s strategy is to complete the preclinical development of its lead development candidate, a p38 MAP kinase inhibitor, and advance two additional discovery candidates into pre-clinical development.

The company’s management team, led by Dr Steven Powell, Chief Executive Officer, has a track record of success in the pharma industry ranging from early discovery to commercialisation. The Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of world-leading immunologists and cancer researchers who will help shape the future development of the company’s unique approach in immuno-oncology.

For more information, please visit the company website: www.macrophagepharma.com

Media Contact:
Macrophage Pharma
Steven Powell, Chief Executive Officer
Email: [email protected]

Hollie Vile
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44-(0)-7729-362-590

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Macrophage Pharma Raises £9 Million in Series A Financing and Acquires Immune-oncology Technology Platform

Macrophage Pharma Limited, a newly formed immune-oncology company, today announced that it has successfully raised £9 million in a Series A equity financing round. The Company has also acquired global rights to a novel technology platform, Esterase Sensitive Motif (ESM), from Chroma Therapeutics Limited (Oxford, UK) together with discovery stage therapeutic assets.

Macrophage Pharma was founded by the CRT Pioneer Fund (‘CPF’) to discover and develop novel therapies designed to enhance anti-tumour immune responses. The Series A investment round was led by CPF and joined by two specialist investors; Novo Seeds, part of Novo A/S, and Aglaia Biomedical Ventures. The proceeds of the financing round will enable the Company to complete the preclinical development of its lead development candidate, a p38MAP kinase inhibitor, and advance two additional discovery candidates into pre-clinical development.

The newly acquired ESM technology platform delivers small molecule drugs to tumour associated macrophages in a highly selective manner, thus activating the body’s natural immune system to fight cancer. The platform has the ability to provide next-generation immunotherapies for a number of different cancers.

The Company’s lead p38MAPi programme is focused on a novel macrophage-targeting p38 MAPK inhibitor. Clinical trials are scheduled to start in 2018. The Company is also developing discovery stage programmes centred on a number of proprietary, candidate compounds.

Commenting on the completion of the financing round, Ian Miscampbell of Sixth Element Capital and Interim Chair of Macrophage Pharma, said: “We are very excited with the initial data generated over the last 18 months and this financing is an important milestone in the development of Macrophage Pharma. We are delighted to be joined by Novo and Aglaia and look forward to benefitting from their expertise in oncology and early stage development as we continue to develop the Company. We have assembled an experienced leadership team to further advance the immune-oncology programmes towards the clinic.”

Dr. Stephan Christgau, Partner at Novo Seeds, added: “Macrophage Pharma represents a very compelling and differentiated approach within immune oncology. We are excited to be part of building this unique opportunity and to be working with an experienced team as well as two specialist investors with a strong track record in oncology.”

Dr. Mark Krul of Aglaia commented: “Despite the fact that good progress is being made with respect to immunotherapy for cancer, one of the key hurdles remains the hostile tumour microenvironment. We believe Macrophage’s ESM technology offers a unique possibility to transform “bad” macrophages into “good” macrophages and hence make tumours far more susceptible to many immunotherapeutic approaches.”

Notes to Editors:

About Macrophage Pharma Limited

Macrophage Pharma is an immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies designed to enhance anti-tumour immune responses. The Company’s technology platform is designed to deliver small molecule drugs to tumour associated macrophages in a highly selective manner to activate the body’s natural immune system to fight cancer.

About Aglaia Biomedical Ventures and Aglaia Oncology Fund II

The Dutch venture capital firm Aglaia – through its Oncology Funds I and II – invests in ground-breaking technologies that have the potential to translate into solutions for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Aglaia is actively involved in the companies that it invests in and works closely with scientists and management teams in the early stages of technological development. By translating high-potential research into commercially and clinically successful products, Aglaia gives meaning to the concept of impact investing by combining financial and social returns. For further information visit www.aglaia-biomedical.com

About Novo A/S and Novo Seeds

Novo Seeds is the early stage investment arm of Novo A/S. Novo Seeds invests in European life science companies with transformative potential and takes an active role as investor, with a proven track record to create and build new companies. Novo A/S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The company is the holding company in the Novo Group and is responsible for managing the assets of the Foundation. Besides being the major shareholder in the Novo Group companies, including Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, Novo A/S provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies, takes significant ownership positions in well-established companies within the life sciences and manages a broad portfolio of financial assets. It has offices in CopenhagenSan FranciscoBoston and London with a team of scientific and commercial experts actively supporting a portfolio of projects and companies. For further information visit www.novo.dk.

About CRT Pioneer Fund LP

CRT Pioneer Fund is a specialist oncology investment fund established in 2012 by Sixth Element Capital LLP (6EC), CRT, BACIT and the European Investment Fund and is managed by 6EC. The CRT Pioneer Fund is dedicated to investment in oncology development programmes in Europe. The focus for investment is pre-lead optimization through to early clinical trials in man. The Fund is dedicated to asset financing projects emanating from Europe and expects to commit two-thirds of its investment to projects derived from Cancer Research UK’s oncology drug discovery portfolio with the remainder being invested in projects from outside Cancer Research UK.

About Sixth Element Capital LLP

Sixth Element Capital LLP (6EC) is a finance partnership based in London. 6EC’s experienced partners focus on creative and collaborative novel financing solutions designed to fund and manage innovative science in order to bring new therapeutic products and technologies to market, creating long term value and benefit to stakeholders.

In drug development, the challenge of translating academic opportunities into commercial products has become more acute in recent years. A real funding gap has emerged at the interface between academia and industry as the number of venture investors active in the space has diminished. Working in partnership with the funders of fundamental research as well as providers of finance who remain active in the space, Sixth Element Capital intends to bridge the funding gap through new partnerships that will accelerate the flow of projects from the research bench to patients and eventual commercial exploitation. The Cancer Research Technology (CRT) Pioneer Fund is an example of these efforts. The Pioneer Fund now has a portfolio of 9 investments. For more information please visit www.sixthelementcapital.com

For further information please contact:

Macrophage Pharma Limited
Steven Powell Tel: +44 (0) 7770 815110