NANTES, FRANCE--(Marketwired - Jun 29, 2016) - Cytune Pharma SAS, a French biotechnology company focused on developing novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, announced the closing of a EUR 6M financing round from existing investors. Funds will be used to advance the RLI15 lead program to Phase I clinical trials. Key investor PPF Group and the founding shareholders also agreed on a full buyout of the remaining shares at the start of Phase I.
Cytune's lead product RLI15 and its platform, based on a modified and improved IL-15, allow for combinations with other immunotherapeutic strategies, including checkpoint inhibitors. RLI15, due to its unique mode of action, has been proven to stimulate immune effector cells, such as cytotoxic and helper T cells, as well as NK cells, but does not stimulate the immune-inhibitory regulatory T cells or other cells. As established in pre-clinical experiments, RLI15 is more potent and better tolerated compared to the normal IL15 or IL2.
PPF Group and other existing investors participated in the financing. The funds will enable Cytune to advance RLI15 to Phase I clinical trials in 2017 and broaden its immunocytokine product pipeline based on RLI15. Cytune Pharma and SOTIO, a biotechnology company experienced in the clinical development of oncology products and a member of PPF Group, will closely collaborate on the further development of Cytune's pipeline.
Dr David Bechard, President of Cytune Pharma commented:
"Our innovative products have the potential to provide more efficacious and safer treatments to cancer patients, when used either as monotherapy or for augmenting immunotherapies currently on the market. We are very grateful for the continuous and strong support of our shareholders."
Ladislav Bartonicek, shareholder of PPF and CEO of SOTIO, commented:
"We are very pleased with the latest data and progress of the Cytune projects, as well as the diligence with which the team advances RLI15 towards its first clinical trials. We are looking forward to moving RLI15 through clinical development to be able to offer superior alternative treatments to cancer patients."
Link to full release: http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/6977C_-2016-6-29.pdf