Iksuda Therapeutics (Iksuda), the developer of a new generation of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) with raised therapeutic index, today announced it has completed a US $47 million (circa GB £34 million) financing round, co-led by Mirae Asset Capital and its subsidiaries, Celltrion and Premier Partners, with the Company being advised by Ashfords LLP. The funding will support the advancement of Iksuda’s lead ADC assets and expansion of its payload and conjugation platform technologies.
Iksuda’s lead pre-clinical candidate, IKS03, is a best-in-class CD19-targeted ADC candidate for B-cell cancers. The investment will enable progression of IKS03 to first-in-human phase 1 clinical trials. It will also be used to accelerate the Company’s earlier-stage programmes including IKS04 and IKS012 to IND filing.
Iksuda’s ADC programmes target tumours that currently have limited treatment options and high relapse rates. The Company’s drug development pipeline is centred on the improved safety and efficacy conferred by tumour activated, prodrug payloads in combination with stable conjugation technologies, including its proprietary novel PermaLink® platform. Iksuda’s research-stage pipeline utilises its proprietary Protein Alkylating (ProAlk) tumour-activated payload platform, recently licensed from Göttingen University1. The novel mode of action for the ProAlk tuneable payload series differs from the field’s primary focus of intra- or DNA inter-strand cross-linking, conferring benefits against drug and tumour resistance mechanisms, and enabling the development of more powerful, more tolerable ADCs.
Dr Dave Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Iksuda Therapeutics, said: “This is a transformational investment milestone for Iksuda, enabling us to focus on the progression of our industry-leading ADC programmes and bring them to the clinic, whilst supporting our commercial growth. The funding not only reflects the potential of our technologies, but also the unmatched expertise of the Iksuda team. We are grateful for the support of this group of investors and delighted to welcome them to the team.”
Ji Kwang Chung, Investor, Mirae Asset Capital, commented: “We have been highly impressed with Iksuda’s approach and progress to date, and with the Company’s leadership. We are delighted to lead this investment round, and to contribute to enabling the team to progress its very promising pipeline of ADC candidates.”
Woosung, Kee, CEO, Celltrion Inc., added: “By pursuing tumours that are resistant to current treatment approaches, Iksuda is extending the boundaries of ADC technology, and consequently the treatment options for patients. This ideally complements Celltrion’s drive to pioneer uncharted areas of innovative therapies, incorporating unique and successful next-generational approaches that promote health and welfare globally. We have been very impressed with Iksuda’s progress to date and look forward to working together to support their mission.”