Portage Biotech Bolsters Pipeline with Acquisition of Four Candidates Targeting the Adenosine Pathway
Acquires two clinical-stage, best in class adenosine compounds, and two preclinical assets for approximately
Enters into committed share purchase agreement with
Management to host a conference call and webcast
“Portage’s development strategy relies on our ability to identify and efficiently develop novel opportunities to improve the landscape of immuno-oncology treatment for patients with cancer. Based on the extensive scientific literature and promising clinical data supporting the role of adenosine in immunosuppression, we expect that these new products represent such an opportunity,” said Dr.
“Historical evidence has proven that adenosine is an important target in cancer research, with multiple approaches in development from biotech and big pharma companies,” added
The new assets acquired from Tarus Therapeutics include:
- TT-10 (now PORT-6): an adenosine receptor type 2A (A2A) inhibitor to treat solid tumors. PORT-6 has received IND clearance and Portage expects to move into a Phase 1/2 clinical trial by the end of 2022 in an enriched patient population.
- TT-4 (now PORT-7): an adenosine receptor type 2B (A2B) inhibitor to treat solid tumors, which has received IND clearance and which Portage plans to initiate clinical development in 2023.
- TT-53 (now PORT-8): a dual inhibitor of adenosine receptors 2A and 2B (A2A/A2B) to address solid tumors. Portage plans to submit an IND in the near future.
- TT-3 (now PORT-9): a gut selective A2B inhibitor to address gastrointestinal cancers, which is currently in preclinical studies.
Portage believes that having the ability to evaluate all four compounds alone or in combination will unlock the best patient populations and best disease settings (oncology and non-oncology) to leverage the adenosine pathway.
Portage also announced that
“Portage’s team has a long history of successfully identifying promising therapeutic assets and advancing them toward clinical trials for ultimate commercialization,” said
Concurrent with the acquisition, Portage has entered into a committed share purchase agreement for up to
The Portage team wishes to thank the founders and leadership of Tarus:
Conference Call and Webcast Details
The Company has scheduled a conference call for
Access to the live conference call will be available five minutes prior to the start of the call by dialing 1-877-704-4453 (
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any state or other jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or other jurisdiction.
A critical mechanism of cancer immune evasion is the generation of high levels of immunosuppressive adenosine within the tumor microenvironment (TME). Research suggests that the TME has significantly elevated concentrations (100-500 fold) of extracellular adenosine. Engagement with adenosine receptors A2A and A2B triggers a dampening effect on the immune response, suppressing effector cell function and stabilizing immunosuppressive regulatory cells. Over-expression of the A2A and A2B receptors leads to poor prognosis in multiple cancers, including prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and lung adenocarcinoma, driven by a reduced ability to generate an immune response against the tumor. These findings have made A2A and A2B high-priority targets for immunotherapeutic intervention. Portage is advancing four first-in-class adenosine inhibitors which together represent the full suite of adenosine-targeting approaches and will enable a comprehensive exploration of how targeting the adenosine pathway could improve response in multiple cancer and non-cancer indications.
About Portage Biotech Inc.
Portage is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company advancing first-in-class therapies that target known checkpoint resistance pathways to improve long-term treatment response and quality of life in patients with evasive cancers. Portage’s access to next-generation technologies coupled with a deep understanding of biological mechanisms enables the identification of the most promising clinical therapies and product development strategies that accelerate these medicines through the translational pipeline. Portage’s portfolio consists of six diverse platforms, with lead programs including invariant natural killer T cell (iNKT agonists) and a suite of treatments targeting the adenosine pathway. Additional programs leverage delivery by intratumorals, nanoparticles, liposomes, aptamers, and virus-like particles. Within these six platforms, Portage has 14 products currently in development with multiple clinical readouts expected through the end of 2023. For more information, please visit www.portagebiotech.com, follow us on Twitter at @PortageBiotech or find us on LinkedIn at Portage Biotech Inc.
This news release contains statements about Portage’s information that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Although Portage believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them as actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof, and Portage undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, except as required by law.
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Source: Portage Biotech, Inc.