Biotechnology

Pfizer puts $25 million into CellCentric

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UK-based biotechnology company CellCentric has received strategic investment from Pfizer including $25 million to help finance further development of inobrodib, a first-in-class p300/CBP inhibitor to treat certain types of cancer.

Pfizer will support CellCentric with its own clinical development program in multiple myeloma (MM) for 2024, along with ongoing trials in certain hematological malignancies, through the Pfizer Ignite offering.

The agreement follows the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent award of the Fast Track designation for inobrodib to treat patients with end-stage relapsing refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) and the orphan drug designation in MM. The ongoing CellCentric blood cancer trial is enrolling patients with a variety of haematological malignancies including multiple myeloma, but also non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

“We are pleased to be partnering with Pfizer to facilitate optimal route planning to the inobrodib market. This agreement will allow us to build on the robust preliminary clinical data observed to date in RRMM patients,” said Will West, CEO and co-founder, CellCentric.

“We hope to make inobrodib available to a wider population of patients, especially those who are underserved by existing therapies.”

“Today’s agreement with CellCentric will help deliver the next phase of clinical trials for inobrodib, and we look forward to sharing our capabilities and deep understanding of the science behind blood cancer to support the development of this program,” said Astrid Ruefli-Brasse, vice president, tumor biology , Pfizer.

“We believe CellCentric’s pioneering work to develop therapies targeting p300/CBP represents a potentially significant new treatment option for patients living with multiple myeloma.”

Pfizer Ignite is a new end-to-end service for biotech companies with high-potential initial knowledge that leverages Pfizer’s significant R&D capabilities, scale and expertise to accelerate the development of breakthrough therapeutics.

About SelCentricinobrodib

Inobrodib works by binding to certain parts of the p300 protein and CBP (bromodomain). It is highly selective and does not affect similar pockets in other proteins. Through this action, inobrodib reduces the expression of the main cancer triggers: IRF4, MYC, and the androgen receptor (AR and its variants).

This is a new type of treatment for cancer patients. Delivered as oral capsules, easy for patients to take, and can be used at home without the need for intensive monitoring. Because it has a good safety profile for the drug in this setting, it can also be used by those who cannot tolerate other treatments, including the elderly and frail. The company says this has the potential to provide significant benefits over existing treatment options as it allows for more patients to be treated, including those who wish to be treated closer to home. Being an oral capsule, it has the potential to present a lower overall burden on the healthcare system compared to more complex therapies, such as cell-based therapies.

In June 2023, CellCentric was granted orphan drug and fast-track approval status from the FDA for inobrodib.

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